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10.06.2004 General News

Diabetics advised to reduce alcoholic intake

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Koforidua, June 10, GNA- Statistics at the Koforidua Regional Hospital Diabetic Clinic indicate that 24.7 per cent of all new patients who reported to the clinic for the first quarter of this year, were suffering from diabetes and blood pressure and 75 per cent of them are females.

This was disclosed by Ms Bernice Baafour, a Pharmacist on attachment to the Koforidua Regional Hospital at a forum on Diabetes, organized by the Drug and Therapeutic Committee of the Hospital at Koforidua on Wednesday.

It was attended by heads of clinical departments and units of the hospital.

She said such patients must understand that there are no cure for their disease but the disease could be effectively managed through a life long therapy.

Ms Baafour advised patients who suffer from both diabetic and blood pressure to reduce their alcoholic intake and avoid smoking. She urged them to regularly check their blood pressure and glucose level.

Dr Thelma Browne, Chairman of the Drug and Therapeutic Committee and head of the Diabetic Clinic of the hospital observed that, one of the disturbing phenomenon which the hospital is having was that most of the patients after they have been advised on the effective management of the disease prefer to follow wrong instructions from people outside the clinic.

She explained that a diabetic could eat every food item to the full including gari, cassava and fruits except sugarcane but what is important was to take them in prescribed quantities.

Dr Browne said diabetes is hereditary but could also be acquired through the use of steroids adding, that there are some bleaching creams, which has steroids in them and its overuse could lead to the development of diabetes.

Dr Browne said research is going on in pancreas transplant as a way of management of diabetes.

Dr Sampson Ofori, Head of the Medical Department of the Hospital complained that drugs for the management of diabetes in the country is too expensive in relation to the earnings of the average patient of the hospital.

He said such a situation could sometimes be frustrating because after every efforts had been put into the treatment, the patients return to the medical officer to complain that he or she could not purchase the medicine for the treatment of the disease.

Dr Ofori suggested that Mutual Health Insurance Schemes should allow diabetic patients to pay a top up and be permitted to join the schemes.

He appealed to non-governmental organizations and civil society groups to get sponsors and donors to donate drugs to support the treatment of diabetics.