CHERONOH Joseph Kiplagat, NJIHIA Peter


Diabetes remains a major challenge to both civilian and combat populations. Serving in the Kenya defense forces military requires a certain level of physical fitness and freedom from any disability and disease. When civilians apply to join the military they are required to pass a medical exam. While not all medical conditions disqualify a person from joining the military, diabetes is one of those conditions that disqualify one from joining the military, others include asthma, hypertension and HIV infection and any obvious disability of the upper and lower limbs which may be attributed to among other conditions diabetes especially diabetic foot. In the recent years there has been unprecedented increase in the numbers of military members developing diabetes in the course of their service to KDF. Yet when they joined the service they were free from diabetes. Strenuous and regular exercises amongst this group are expected to protect them from this developing diabetes and other lifestyle disease. Developing diabetes while already serving in the military, however, is not automatic grounds for dismissal from the military. Because active service members have mandatory medical examinations and free access to health care, it is thought that there are few undiagnosed cases of diabetes among military personnel. Service members who develop diabetes and cannot be well controlled are referred to a medical evaluation board, which assesses their medical fitness and makes recommendations about follow-up care. The objective of this study was to establish various military exposures as a result of deployment can contribute to the development of diabetes on work performance and productivity and economic burden on the military medical scheme. To achieve this, a case study was done at defense forces memorial hospital involving diabetic patients who regularly attend diabetic clinic every week.

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