Let’s support fight against diabetes - Prof. Darkwa charges public
Efforts by the government and its partners will not be enough to defeat diabetes unless members of the public play a critical role to support, a Professor of Food Science, Sarah Darkwah, has said.
She said it was, therefore, unfair to stigmatise and show attitude to people who live with the disease.
Prof. Darkwa, who is a Professor of Food Science at the Vocational and Technical Education Department of the University of Cape Coast, implored families and friends of persons living with the disease to give them all the support they needed to live well.
She said diabetes was not a death sentence and charged the public to show care and love for persons with the disease.
Prof. Darkwa, who said this when she presented a paper on Blood Sugar - A Social and Scientific Discourse on its Impact on our Health at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences Lecture in Accra last Thursday, noted that in Ghana, there “are about 2.4 million people living with diabetes and approximately 7.5 per cent of adults have Type-2 Diabetes”..
She deplored the act of stigmatisation against persons with diabetes.
"There is negative attitude, people are judgemental about people living with diabetes. They even discriminate or show prejudice against people with blood sugar issue," she said.
"They are sensitive to language and do not want to be referred to as diabetic," she emphasised, saying that "they are a bit sensitive to that name (diabetic)"
Prof. Darkwa said the issues of race, age and genetics had a role to play in the acquisition of diabetes.
She said once Ghanaians were part of the black race, they had a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), the Ministry of Health and the World Diabetes Foundation had agreed to develop and implement a joint integrated project in the country and Uganda and that "the aim is to reduce the negative impact of the disease and to ensure that people living with it had access to equitable, comprehensive, affordable and quality treatment and care.
Blood sugar, she said was the sugar in the blood that was utilised for energy.
The Chairperson of the GAAS, Emerita Prof. Isabella Akyinbah Quakyi, said that 2.4 million people living with diabetes in the country was quite a lot.
She said it was good to know that the WHO, the Ghana Health Service and the World Diabetic Society were working together to put processes that would help encourage individuals to manage and for society to make people realise that having high blood sugar was not a death sentence.