A young entrepreneur has stepped forward to curb the scourge of diabetes in South Africa through innovative technology.
Lubabalo Mnyaka founded Aflu Med Healthcare in 2014 to develop different programmes to prevent and manage the disease.
Mnyaka, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Microbiology from the University of Free State, said he became fascinated by diabetes while working as a cardiometabolic care representative for Merck Serono, a German multinational pharmaceutical company in Johannesburg.
He said he discovered that South Africa was struggling to manage 3.5 million citizens who lived with the silent killer disease. He found that 95% lived with Type 2 as a result of their lifestyles while the rest battled Type 1, an auto-immune disease.
“In 2010 the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes was estimated at 4.5%. We are now looking at 155% increase in such a short space of time,” he said.
Mnyaka said between 60% and 80% of people with diabetes in the country died before the age of 60. He developed a diabetes management software for government clinics to reduce the cost to the fiscus. It allows heads of departments and treating doctors and nurses to enforce accountability, prevent and/or delay the onset of diabetes complications.
Mnyaka said the diabetes management software was fully customisable and was capable of storing and sharing key information at a point of care such as full blood count, routine examination, ophthalmology, podiatry, stock management, and kidney function test, among others.
Besides running his businesses, Mnyaka, who was chosen to represent South Africa in the 2015 UK-South Africa Bilateral Forum in London, said he was setting up the Eljays Institute of Science, a private school focused on producing scientists in the healthcare and engineering sectors.
“We want to expose pupils, especially those from rural areas, to maths and science so that they become future scientists. We want to groom them from a young age up to Grade 12.” The college, he said, was bent on removing the myth that mathematics and science were difficult subjects.