At The Noakes Foundation, we raise funds to support research, but also to support the approximately 46.5 million South Africans who are not on private medical aid and are thus not able to get the world class care that less than 18 percent of our country affords in the privatised system. It is these people who are worst off; with little or no support and insufficient regular medical advice, diabetes is an ever-growing burden and dynamite that has now taken over HIV deaths in our country. It is a bomb that has already gone off. There is not a second to waste to make the change, cut the sugars and to start asking why we got here and how we can fix things for future generations. Many people need to wake up, even the ones who are not diabetic or sick and are managing on the current diet, but still feeding their children endless refined carbs and sugars and thinking ‘it won’t happen to us’.
The truth of this situation is so dire that in order to effect change, we need help from everyone: the academics and scientists and their extraordinary minds and problem-solving abilities; the doctors and specialists who are on the ground addressing the daily realities of chronic disease and fighting up-hill battles; the nurses and dieticians. Mostly, it’s going to take every single person to change things, cut the sugar and carbs and generate industry demand to change. It’s going to take every mother’s purse, both in South Africa and the world, to change the situation form the bottom up.
Extract from Introduction to Diabetes Unpacked, by Jayne Bullen, CEO, The Noakes Foundation