Set up council to manage diabetes - Federation appeals to govt
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has appealed to the government to establish a council on diabetes to strengthen the nation’s response to the rising cases of the disease across the country.
The federation said that Ghana remained the only country without a council for diabetes.
The council is significant in the effective management of the non-communicable disease.
The Chairperson of IDF-Africa, Elizabeth Esi Denyoh, who made the appeal, said: “In all of Africa, Ghana is the only country without a council for diabetes.
The world is in the middle of massive wars and conflicts but none more devastating than diabetes.
“Other than Asia, Africa will be the most hit by the disease by 2030,” she added.
Mrs Denyoh, who was addressing the press in Accra yesterday, said the disease had become a leading cause of death and a public health emergency for which reason a more focused approach was needed to address it.
It formed part of activities for the launch of World Diabetes Day for Africa which is celebrated annually on November 14 to raise awareness of the impact of diabetes on the health of people.
It was also to highlight the need to strengthen prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. It was on the theme: “Access to diabetes care.”
Mrs Denyoh said that approximately, 13.6 million Africans were living with diabetes for which reason African governments must come together, dialogue and initiate policies that would address the menace in their respective countries.
“With all due respect, COVID-19 has not taken 10,000 people in Ghana, breast cancer has not taken 100,000 people in Ghana, diabetes is a leading cause of death but it is not treated seriously as other diseases,” she said.
The chairperson also entreated governments to develop a policy that would regulate the activities of all stakeholders, especially NGOs to ensure victims were not taken advantage of.
“Some of them pick groups of people, pretend to be doing a diabetes programme and when they get the funds they abandon the people and go ahead to spend the money,” she claimed.
Mrs Denyoh also advised that more resources be allocated for the training of specialists in the field to help tackle the disease.
The chairperson further called on the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Ghana Standards Authority and other regulators to step up efforts to curtail the surge in the circulation of fake medicines occasioned by the rise in the number of diabetes patients.
She also proposed the creation of a curriculum that included physical exercise, particularly at the basic school level to improve the health of pupils while instilling the culture of exercising in them.