Diabetes is becoming very common in Ghana — Physician Specialist

  Sun, 28 May 2023
Headlines Diabetes is becoming very common in Ghana — Physician Specialist

Dr. Zuleila Fuseini, Physician Specialist at International Maritime Hospital (IMaH) at Tema, has expressed concern that diabetes is becoming very common in the country, mainly due to the sedentary lifestyle of Ghanaians.

She said about 2.4 million Ghanaians, constituting 8.3 percent of the total population are living with diabetes. "This means that when you take every hundred people, there is a chance of getting eight of them to be diabetic, which is quite a bad thing to say."

Dr. Fuseini said this at the weekly "Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility! A Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office initiative aimed at promoting health-related communication and providing a platform for health information dissemination to influence personal health choices through improved health literacy

The Ghana News Agency's Tema Regional Office developed the public health advocacy platform "Your Health! Our Collective Responsibility" to investigate the components of four health communication approaches: informing, instructing, convincing, and promoting.

Speaking on "Diabetes Mellitus," Dr. Fuseini stressed that diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized 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.

She said the most common is type two diabetes, usually in adults, which occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't make enough insulin. In the past three decades, the prevalence of type two diabetes has risen dramatically in countries of all income levels.

The IMaH Physician Specialist stressed that type one diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin by itself.

Dr. Fuseini quoted the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics on diabetes, which indicate that about 422 million people worldwide have the disease, with the majority living in low- and middle-income countries, and that 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year.

"Both the number of cases and the prevalence of diabetes have been steadily increasing over the past few decades," she stated.

"For people living with diabetes, access to affordable treatment, including insulin, is critical to their survival. There is a globally agreed target to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity by 2025," she said.

She mentioned that preventive modalities included balanced diets, regular exercise, cutting down on alcohol intake, cessation of smoking, and keeping weight, saying the ideal Body Max Index (BMI) should be between 18 and 25, among others.

Dr. Fuseini also expressed worry that although type one was common among children and type two was prevalent among adults currently, type two was now being highly recorded among children.

Mr. Francis Ameyibor, Regional Manager of Ghana News Agency in Tema, warned against the rise of sedentary lifestyles and inactivity, which are associated with our current way of life: modes of transportation, working in a seated position, and other new ways of doing things imply that we are less active.

He emphasized the importance of combating sedentary lifestyles, which have become a public health crisis.

—CDA Consult II Contributor