The Sonia Nabeta Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, in partnership with Sanford World Clinic (SWC) has established a clinic for Children with Type 1 Diabetes. (T1 D).
The facility dubbed “SNF Clinics at Sanford Health” sought to support the Ministry of Health’s objective of improving access to healthcare for children with the disease.
Services to be provided include consultations with a multidisciplinary team comprised pediatric endocrinologists, psychologists, dieticians, diabetic nurses and fellow warrior mentor.
It is also expected to provide free T1D essential medical supplies including insulin, glucometers, and stripes lancets as well as management tests such as full blood count, blue, creative lipid profile urinalysis.
The founder and executive director of the foundation, Ms Vivian Nabeta, speaking at the ceremony as part of activities marking this year’s World Diabetes Day celebrations said Type 1 diabetes does not have a known cause.
“The disease is not preventable, it is not curable, no amount of exercise is going to reverse type 1 diabetes. It is a condition where the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin as such awareness must be our first and most crucial step that we cannot do that without,” she added.
Type 1 diabetes, she explained is buried under a shroud of confusion and misconceptions, adding when you hear “diabetes,” you might think of the disease caused by poor diet, a lack of exercise, and other conscious lifestyle decisions while others say it is not a disease for children and that only old people get the disease”.
Ms Nabeta said in children and people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot produce insulin, so they need externally administered insulin regularly to regulate blood glucose levels to survive and without this insulin, they die.
She stated that people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes face the immense challenge of the burden of care as managing type 1 diabetes is exceptionally expensive it is not as simple as distributing insulin, syringes and glucometers adding “that is why SNF is here to support the Ministry of Health and its partners to reduce this cost and lessen the burden.”
The Chief Medical Officer of SWC, Dr Kwaku Darkwa, urged the involvement of more stakeholders to ensure the improvement of patient outcomes as well as access to screening services to map out diabetes patience across the country.
He also called for more education on the risk factors, the services available and the types of support needed by diabetes patience and the appropriate management needed to make them feel being part of society.
The La Nkwantanang Madina Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mrs Jennifer Dede Adjabeng, urged parents of children with diabetes to take good care of them and assured of the assembly’s support to intensify public sensitisation to increase awareness.
The Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis Xavier Sosu, said a number of bills have been tabled before parliament to ensure that diseases including diabetes, childhood cancers and tumor are given the needed attention as well as mental health.