Similar to what it has done to other diseases, covid-19 has slowed down Africa’s fight against diabetes by disrupting access to healthcare through lockdowns and other movement restriction. It has also stretched the continent’s already strained medical resources, and diverted medical resources to focus on controlling the pandemic.

People with diabetes get priority in covid-19 vaccination

Globally, people with diabetes have been prioritized to receive covid-19 vaccinations, but Africa has experienced challenges in this strategy due to insufficient vaccine supply. The continent of more than a billion people has so far received 177 million vaccine doses and vaccinated only 6% of its population.

According to the WHO, data from 37 countries shows that only 14% of all doses administered in the continent so far have been administered to people with comorbidities since March 2021.

“We are still nowhere near where we need to be with protecting our most vulnerable,” Moeti said. “There is an urgent need to step up vaccination and other key services to people at high risk, including those with diabetes.”

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