Standardised treatment guidelines for diabetes in the offing

BY: Elizabeth Nyaadu Adu
Dr. Efua Commeh (standing), acting Programmes Manager for Non-Communicable Diseases at the Ghana Health Service, addressing the seminar
Dr. Efua Commeh (standing), acting Programmes Manager for Non-Communicable Diseases at the Ghana Health Service, addressing the seminar

Stakeholders have begun a comprehensive review of a document to provide standardised treatment guidelines for the management and treatment of diabetes across the country.

The stakeholders included officials of the Ghana Health Service, health professionals, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and people living with diabetes.

The document, which will be launched in November this year, will also guide health workers on how to effectively educate the public on the non-communicable disease, particularly how to reduce risk factors, to help reduce the number of cases recorded in the country.

It also provides health workers with guidelines on how to effectively manage diabetes.

Meeting

Speaking at the stakeholders engagement meeting on the development of Diabetes Treatment Guidelines last Friday in Accra, the acting Programmes Manager for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Efua Commeh, said different standards used by health facilities over the years had affected the quality of care provided for patients with diabetes.

She said that was why the standardised document was needed to guide diabetes care nationwide to improve management and preventive outcomes.

“A technical working group was formed to develop the treatment guidelines because facilities in the country are using their own guidelines which are not standardised. So we put together a national team to standardise treatment guidelines considering what pertains in other jurisdictions,” she said.

She said just like other chronic diseases, the number of diabetes cases recorded in Ghana had shot up.

Dr. Commeh attributed the rise to eating and drinking unhealthy and lack of exercise and, therefore, advised Ghanaians to adopt healthy lifestyles to help reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

“It is important that we adopt healthy lifestyles; we must watch what we eat, especially the fatty and sugary foods as well as exercise more to burn some of these fat consumed into our bodies.

She explained that research conducted across the country had shown that between six to nine per cent of the population has diabetes.

“It was important that we have such stakeholders meeting to engage patients with diabetes to voice their concerns and help address them together with the health worker. Ultimately, we are hoping that the number of diabetes cases recorded in the country will be reduced,” she said.