A careful research conducted by the National Diabetes Association (NDA) has revealed that not less than four million Ghanaians are currently suffering from diabetes.
According to NDA, three out of every nine people are suffering from the life threatening condition across the country, resulting in over 5, 000 deaths every year.
Nevertheless, the most outrageous revelation about the statistics from the non-communicable disease (NCD) is that 90 percent do not know they have diabetes.
Only 10 percent of the cases are diagnosed early for proper medical care.
The revelation came as Ghana joined the rest of the world to mark this year’s World Diabetes Day commemorated on November 14.
This year’s celebration, themed ‘Eyes ON Diabetes’, is dedicated to raising diabetes awareness, scaling up diabetes prevention, strengthening care and enhance surveillance.
Elizabeth Esi Denyoh, President of the National Diabetes Association, who read out the statistics yesterday at the commemoration of the day at Ada, mentioned that diabetes is a chronic condition which can result in other health complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, damage of limb (amputations), stroke, impotence and eye disease that can lead to blindness.
She warned that diabetes is no respecter of persons, which all must consider, as a matter of urgency, since it affects every individual irrespective of their background.
According to her, “The fact that diabetes affects more than three million Ghanaian means it must be taken as a national emergency and given all the needed attention.”
The president of NDA urged the Ministry of Health (MoH) to intensify it education on diabetes and also introduce keep-fit clubs in schools to encourage regular exercise to fight it since children are now most affected.
Minister of Health Alex Segbefia, giving his keynote speech, expressed worry that younger people and adolescent are now being diagnosed with diabetes.
According to him, 70 percent diabetes cases are only detected after the death of the person.
The minister further promised to strengthen vigilance in collaboration with the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) to monitor the importation of fake drugs into the market, assuring them of considering the concern of Sin Tax (that is taxes on fizzy drinks, sweets, cigarettes and alcohol which increases diabetes in the country).
He advised Ghanaians to adopt a healthy approach to fighting diabetes by engaging in regular exercise, check sugar level regularly, live a healthy lifestyle and go for regular check-ups at health facilities.
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