Health Ministry to push for subsidising cost of diabetes treatment

By Jesse Owusu Ampah, GNA

Apam(C/R), Nov. 14, GNA – The Ministry of
Health is to send a proposal to Cabinet to consider the subsidisation of the
cost of treating diabetes, which is relatively costly.

Mr Alexander Kojo Abban, a Deputy Minister of
Health, announced this at the 2019 International World Diabetes Day,
marked  at Apam in the Gomoa West District of the Central Region.

He said there were also considerations for
certain aspects of the treatment to be covered under the National Health
Insurance Scheme.

The Member of Parliament for the Gomoa West
Constituency, however, advised Ghanaians to adopt healthy lifestyles and go for
regular medical check ups to ensure the early detection should they get the
disease.

November 14 is observed annually  across
the world to create awareness on diabetes and how it can be prevented,
regulated and easily treated to avert complications.

The World Health Organisation defines diabetes
as a chronic, metabolic disease characterised by elevated levels of blood
glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart,
blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.

It occurs either when the pancreas does not
produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it
produces.

Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood
sugar. Hyperglycaemia  or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of
uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the
body’s systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.

In 2014, the world health body says 8.5% of
adults aged 18 years and older had diabetes, while In 2016, diabetes was the
direct cause of 1.6 million deaths.

In 2012, high blood glucose was the cause of
another 2.2 million deaths.

Mr Abban said unhealthy habits such as poor
eating, physical inactivity, alcohol and tobacco use  made one susceptible
to contracting Type 2 diabetes.

Type1 diabetes is, however, genetically
acquired.

Mrs Elizabeth Esi Denyoh, President of the
National Diabetes Association Ghana, said the awareness creation would not end
on the Day because her association would keep  liaising with government,
stakeholders and other policy makers on better ways of treating the disease.

Statistics on Diabetes  was very worrying
so urgent measures were needed to minimise it.  

According to the International Diabetes
Federation,  there were 518, 400 cases of diabetes in Ghana in 2017.

She said : “At the moment, Ghana is
placed 5th in Africa on the World Diabetes statistics.”

” However, the worrying trend is that
most diabetics are wrongly diagnosed” .

In 2017 alone, about 34,000 people were
amputated due to severe diabetic conditions.

Mrs Denyoh said many health workers
shunned  practising solely in diabetes treatment because there were no
incentives.

However, diabetes could be controlled if there
were adequate awareness creation programmes and dedicated treatment from
specialised health professionals.

She appealed to the government to create a
disability fund to assist persons who  had been disabled by the disease.

There should also be  foot care centres
for treating diabetes of the leg.

Obotantam Nana Adu Effrim, Chief of Apam
Traditional Area, who chaired  the event, urged the  Government to
prioritise the treatment of diabetics because it was a major health condition.

He promised to do his best as a traditional
leader to help create awareness on the disease and urged other 
traditional rulers, church leaders, Muslim leaders and civil society
organisations to help.

The event brought together stakeholders,
including health professionals from across the country, community health
students from the College of Community Health Nursing-Winneba, community
members and traders.

GNA

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