Increase public education about diabetes

Diabetes, as a chronic disease, has become a global worry.

The experts say it occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces, eventually leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood (hyperglycaemia).

The disease is said to be of two types– types1and 2.

What is called Gestational diabetes occurs among some pregnant women and it is hyperglycaemia.

Diabetes is said to be a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation.

We all can imagine the results of these diseases on the diabetic – inability to do what one was doing before the disease, including not being able to work; spending on treatment and even suffering death.

Besides, family-member care-givers and other loved ones, some of whom would have to part with money in support of treatment and feeding, would go through some stress.

Even professionals at the hospitals get worried when they do not see improvement in the patients’ health.

Also, medical scientists cannot rest in finding lasting treatment for the condition.

Looking at the awful health and economic effects of the disease, the International Diabetes Federation saw the need to call attention to the deadly disease on the global scene.

Thus in addition to its various activities, it sought and secured the support of the World Health Organisation to establish in 1991 the World Diabetes Day, which has since been annually marked on November 14.

It must, however, be noted that the day officially became a United Nations (UN) event in 2006 and the following year the General Assembly adopted a resolution to affirm  November 14 as the World Diabetes Day.

Yesterday,the National Diabetes Association-Ghana (NDAG), launched the day ahead of its celebration on Monday.

The disease affects hundreds of millions around the globe and the NDAG says about 10 per cent of the Ghanaian population is diabetic.

The NDAG records that between 2020 and now, diabetes has killed more people than COVID-19 but there are a fund, policies and guidelines for treatment and management for COVID-19, but not diabetes, which is the third leading chronic non-communicable disease in the country.

The Ghanaian Times welcomes the celebration of the day and appeals to the public to pay attention to it and all the education about the disease.

This is important because even though it is still not clear what exactly causes type 1 diabetes, it is evident that unmanaged type 1 diabetes can lead to type 2 with all its ills.

Therefore, if you suddenly notice you feel more thirsty than usual; urinate a lot; feel unusually very hungry; are losing weight; or having blurry vision, you should visit the hospital for check-up.

Also, bed-wetting in children must catch attention for check-up.

The good news is that while type 1 diabetes can emerge unawares, type 2 and its devastating effects can be prevented or delayed if we obey the medical advice.

For instance, you should reduce carbohydrate intake; exercise regularly; reduce weight; avoid smoking; lower intake of processed food; drink water as your regular beverage intake; and reduce your sedentary activities.

The World Diabetes Day must prompt the government to increase efforts in managing diabetes, including intensive public education.


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