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Diabetes and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa

The need for sustainable healthcare systems

Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are by far the leading cause of mortality worldwide, representing 60% of all deaths. Contrary to common perception, 80% of chronic disease deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. This invisible epidemic is an underestimated cause of poverty and hinders the economic development of many countries. Sub-Saharan Africa carries the highest burden of disease in the world, the bulk of which still consists of the communicable diseases HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. However, the prevalence and incidence of diabetes and its long-term complications in sub-Saharan Africa are increasing, and will have a devastating human and economic toll if the trends remain unabated in the future. This report describes the links between two chronic diseases, diabetes and HIV/AIDS, in sub-Saharan Africa and its implications for healthcare systems.


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