- Ghana has identified diabetes as the cause of prolonged ill health in at least 2.2 million of its citizens and threatens about 50 percent of all Ghanaian patients.
The alarming news was revealed by Dr Kwamena Beecham, President of the Ghana Diabetes Association (GDA) while briefing journalists on the current diabetic situation in the West African country.
He said there was the need for public concern as well as government policies and measures to reverse the trend, considering the fact that the disease has put Ghana's reproductive population [35 and 64 years of age] at greater risk.
Dr Beecham said gone are the days when Ghana relent in its efforts to wage all-out combat against diabetes, arguing that diabetes must be treated just like communicable diseases [malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
GDA leader also urged Ghanaians to regularly test their sugar levels and to desist from eating at irregular intervals, drinking high sugar level drinks, excessive alcohol, overeating and fatty meat.
Dr Beecham expressed disappointment that thousands of diabetic patients whose homes had been washed by the floods in Ghana’s three northern regions are yet to receive drugs since then.
Globally, at least one person dies every 10 seconds out of the disease and four people’s legs are amputated every 30 seconds as a result of diabetic complications. More than 360 million persons estimated as likely to get the disease by 2025, with 90% believed to emerge from low and middle-income countries.
Diabetes consumes 30% of sub-Saharan African countries’ budget.
The high prevalence of diabetes in developing countries is attributed to under nutrition, over nutrition [overweight and obesity] and a shift from the consumption of traditional food to more processed, polished and animal sourced foods with high fats and sugar contents.
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