The Second Lady, Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur has urged Ghanaians to seek regular diabetes screening to avoid any future implications.
She said diabetes had implications for the society as a whole and that the condition affects every major organ in the body which requires a lot of inputs to treat and manage.
“Diabetes can result in blindness, amputation, stroke, and kidney failure. It is a disease which makes it different from several diseases that may come and go with time,”
Mrs Amissah-Arthur said this in Accra yesterday when launching the diabetes screening project for senior high schools (SHS) in the Greater Accra Region.
The project is to ensure that students understand what diabetes is and the simple preventive measures they can adopt to avoid it. They will also be screened and those tested positive, counselled.
Mrs. Amissah-Arthur said the earlier a person is diagnosed and management of the disease is started, the better the chances of preventing harmful and costly complications.
She noted that the number of children developing the early form of type 1 diabetes is increasing rapidly adding that in developing countries type 2 diabetes was also being diagnosed in children, teenagers and young adults.
“It is well known that a healthy diet, good exercise and leading an active life can reduce the disease. Since diabetes is a lifestyle disease we can do a lot about it by educating people about the disease,” she said.
She urged Ghanaians to eat well and cut down on their sugar intake, especially in the amount of soft drinks they consume adding “you can make your own juices from oranges, water melon and pineapples when the fruits are in season”.
The president of the National Diabetes Association, Mrs. Elizabeth Esi Denyoh said globally, diabetes was among the fast rising killer diseases.
She noted that according to the World Health Organisation, it was estimated that diabetes resulted in 1.5 million deaths in 2012, making it the 8th leading cause of death.
By Bernard Benghan & Janet Asantewaah Opoku