Ghana yesterday joined the world to commemorate World Diabetes Day at Apam with a call on government to develop a national diabetes control programme to enable more nurses’ venture into diabetes education.
The event which was under the theme, “Your family and diabetes” sought to increase awareness on the effects of the disease, the complications caused by it and the care people with the condition needed.
Mrs Elizabeth Esi Denyoh, the West African Chairperson of International Diabetes Federation (IDF) who made the call said, although diabetes was growing among the country’s population, most nurses in the country lacked knowledge in diabetes education.
According to her, getting more nurses to be specifically trained in diabetes education and management would help curb the disease adding that, providing incentives would encourage more nurses to venture into it.
She appealed to the government to regulate advertisements on the cure for diabetes which according to her was untrue, saying, “diabetes was discovered in 1,811. It can be controlled and not cured.”
Mrs Denyoh advised the public to check their diet, exercise and check their sugar level regularly.
She noted that, in Ghana, 90 per cent of diabetes were only found during postmortem, because most of them were wrongly diagnosed as malaria, typhoid, among others.
Mrs Denyoh said 80 per cent of people living with diabetes pay for their healthcare adding that, “it needs to be given equal attention like Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).”
Mr Alexander Abban, Deputy Minister of Health, said his outfit was reviewing the health package, which must be given under the National Health Insurance Scheme, stating that diabetes and other diseases were being considered.
He indicated that, the effect of diabetes on families was great and once a poor person was diagnosed, death sentence was given.
In a speech read on his behalf, the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Gomoa West, Mr Bismark Baisie Nkum said, according to IDF study, the number of people with diabetes was expected to rise to 522 million by 2030.
He stated that, three out of four people with diabetes lived in low income countries which include Ghana, adding that “the cost of managing the sickness is expensive and could negatively affect socio-economic activities of the country as a whole.”
The DCE said statistics available indicated that in Ghana, close to a quarter of the population will be diabetic by 2020.
BY ABEDUWAA LUCY APPIAH