The first lady of the Republic of South Africa, Madam Gloria Bongi Ngema-Zuma, visited Wiley College Wednesday morning to raise awareness about diabetes and the importance of early diagnosis and the adoption of healthful practices that can prevent the onset of the disease. Speaking at Wiley as a guest of its Distinguished Lecture Series, Madam Zuma told students, faculty, and staff to ask for a diabetes screening during physical exams, exercise regularly, eat healthfully, and control portion sizes.
According to the International Diabetes Federation 2015 Atlas, 415 million adults worldwide are living with diabetes, and 75 percent of those adults live in developing countries. The World Health Organization estimated that in 2012, 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes.
Madam Zuma started the Bongi Ngema-Zuma Foundation in 2010 to help lower these staggering numbers.The goal of the foundation is to see a South Africa where diabetes ceases to be a killer due to lack of awareness.
"We have to roll up our sleeves and help each other," said Madam Zuma. "Working together, we can win the struggle to combat the toll the disease has taken on the world."
Wiley College and student organizations made donations to Madam Zuma during her visit to support her work. To find out how you can help globally and locally, visit the foundation's website at bnzfoundation.org.za Madam Zuma visited East Texas this week as a guest of Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas/
In photo are Madam Gloria Bongi Ngema-Zuma with Wiley sophomore Taylor Cooper, who is the reigning Miss National UNCF. They are pictured in the Thomas W. Cole Library after Madam Zuma's lecture.