Persons living with diabetes are pleading with the government to make healthcare delivery for the disease a priority due to the high prevalence rate among children in Ghana and across the world.
About 742 children from age six have been diagnosed of the disease in Greater Accra alone, according to the leader of the young people living with diabetes, Abigail Boison.
She said creating awareness is capital intensive and has therefore called for support.
“We need more support from government because we have to run camps, the camping is about teaching the children how to manage their diabetes very well in order to prevent complications such as kidney failure, eye diseases, and amputation and others. So we need more funds to help train these kids,” she noted.
According to statistics, people die every six seconds from diabetes across the world and 34% out of the four million Ghanaians have died from the disease undiagnosed. Three out of nine people sampled randomly live with the disease, according to healthcare practitioners. They are specifically asking government to construct pavements along newly constructed roads and those that are yet to be constructed enable people exercise regularly. They argue that the lack of pedestrian walkway is a hindrance to frequent exercise which is a prime preventer of the illness.
“Diabetes is on the rise and it’s like all countries are not looking, we’ve taken our eyes off. Ghana has had it fair share of diabetes problems. Four million people are currently living with diabetes in Ghana, 3 out of the nine people you meet on the streets are suffering from diabetes, unfortunately 34% of all our deaths are diabetes related and are only seen after postmortem”, according to the President of the National Diabetes Association of Ghana, Elizabeth Esi Denyo.
Speaking during a grand durbar at Ada to commemorate the World Diabetes day in Ghana, she also pleaded with government to intensify education on diabetes, create kip fit clubs in schools and construct pavements to enable people exercise to reduce the disease.
“We are grateful to the President for the infrastructure he has constructed across the country, but we are sad, almost all the roads constructed are without pedestrian walkways making it difficult for people to go jogging along them.
“We will like to draw attention to the President and that of the city engineers who are constructing the roads to give room for pedestrian walk and cycling so that we can help people to exercise because if you want to attain a headway through the reduction of diabetes in Ghana, our roads design should be taken a second look at”, she lamented.
Meanwhile, the Minister in charge of health, Alex Segbefia indicated that government has initiated moves to examine if all communicable diseases can be contained by the National Health Insurance. He advised the general public to take preventive measures of diabetes seriously.
“70% of people who are diabetic in Ghana do not know they are diabetic. Once they begin to feel the symptoms, namely frequent urination, tiredness, visual problems they make sure they immediately go for screening.”
Mr Segbefia also revealed that stakeholders are looking at the possibility of migrating communicable diseases onto the National Health Insurance Scheme.
“We have tasked those in charge of the National Health Insurance Scheme with the pharmaceuticals to look at what it is that the National Health Insurance can consistently sustain with regards to non-communicable diseases. Not just diabetes, diabetes is there but we also have high blood pressure, we have a lot of people with kidney issues and dialysis is high on the agenda, so in the area of non-communicable diseases, mostly which are not covered at the moment, under the National Health Insurance, we are looking at ways to see how we can best accommodate some level of these non-communicable diseases under that program because non communicable diseases as I said, are on the rise.”
The durbar was organized by the National Diabetes Association of Ghana and the Ministry of Health.
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