Diabetes patients demand clear policy on diabetes
The patients have also called for the revision of the Act that waived the Valued Added Tax on medicines for diabetic patients.
Speaking at the launch of this year’s World Diabetes Day in Accra on Monday, Mr Stephen Cofie, President of the Ghana Diabetes Association (GDA), said treating diabetes in Ghana was very expensive and should be given the same prominence as malaria and HIV and AIDS.
The day is under the theme: “Diabetes Education and Prevention”.
He noted that the cost of treating diabetes was higher and more than the annual salary of the patient and that the average worker in Ghana who had the disease could not afford it.
He noted that the disease did not discriminate and could affect any other person, adding “as a silent killer, which can kill one person every eight seconds then, it should be given that serious attention”.
Mr Cofie explained that people were amputated due to complications of the disease and such complications could be managed and controlled if there was early diagnoses for prompt attention.
He urged people with the disease to develop a meal plan to help them manage the disease to prolong their lives and live healthy lives.
In Ghana, undiagnosed diabetes accounts 70 per cent of cases in Ghana and diabetes was fast becoming the major cause of blindness in the country contributing to lower limb amputations and kidney failures.
Dr William Bosu, a non-communicable disease expert, advised persons who experienced signs such as dry throats, vaginal itching, strange sores and regular urinating, to visit health facilities for medical checkup.
He cautioned people to exercise regularly, eat balanced diets, control temperament, ensure personal hygiene and have positive attitude towards life to avoid contracting the disease and added that some persons might contract diabetes for genetic reasons.
Diabetes is not infectious. It can occur in children and adults alike and has no cure, but can be controlled.
“Take control of your own life if you have diabetes. Let us encourage a healthy lifestyle for our generation and the future generations”, he stressed.
Mr Joseph Adomako, a Director of the Ministry of Health, who represented the Minister, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh pledged the Ministry’s support in ensuring that diabetic patients got the needed medicines and support needed.
A side attraction of the event was screening exercise for diabetes undewrtaken by PALB Pharmaceuticals an Accra-based Pharmaceutical Company.