Type 1 diabetes mellitus in the African population: epidemiology and management challenges

Acta Biomed. 2008 Dec;79(3):255-9.


Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) is a growing concern worldwide; while there has been a great improvement in the knowledge, epidemiology and management of this condition in the developed worlds, there has been little or no improvement in sub-Saharan Africa. The true burden of this disease is not even known, but a difference in the pattern and outcome of T1DM in the sub-Saharan Africa compared to the western World seems to be present. Moreover, much of the available data is not population-based and is of limited value for making generalizations about Diabetes in children of Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the limitations, there is evidence that these populations may be important for studying the aetiology and natural history of Type 1 diabetes. Effective management and/or prevention of diabetes and its complications in Sub-Saharan African children should adopt multidisciplinary approaches. In order to improve care for diabetes patients in developing countries, specialized clinics need to be established.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Age Factors
  • Algeria / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / prevention & control
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Incidence
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Libya / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Morocco / epidemiology
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Poverty
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Sudan / epidemiology
  • Tanzania / epidemiology
  • Tunisia / epidemiology


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin