Diabetes has become one of the largest chronic epidemics of the 21st century ahead of HIV and AIDS with Africa leading the pack of new infections as people’s lifestyles continue to change with health experts warning on the need for people to watch on their exercise patterns and eating habits.

According to recent statistics from the International Diabetes Federation, the number of people to be diagnosed with diabetes across the globe is estimated to have doubled the 2015 figure of 415 million adults by 2040 with Africa set to lead the new infections.

The statistics were presented at a diabetes training workshop in Bulawayo.

Speaking on the sidelines of the workshop, South African based diabetes specialist Annelie Jordan says the threat posed by diabetes is bigger than what meets the eye as people seem not interested in changing their lifestyles.

Zimbabwe Diabetes Association president Dr John Mangwiro says his organisation is embarking on a massive awareness campaign to have a new legislative framework to deal with companies that dupe customers by putting misleading labels on their food and beverages.

Officiating at the function, the Minister of Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators and Former Political Detainees Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube a patient of diabetes himself decried the high costs associated with diabetes treatment which he said are beyond the reach of many.

The three day training workshop was attended by health professionals from across the country including doctors and nurses who were presented with certificates courtesy of Novartis Research International in collaboration with Zimbabwe Diabetes Association.