Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Health (MOH) Hon. Alexander K. Abban has said, government has taken measures to include the treatment of diabetes in the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Speaking at the commemoration of World Diabetes Day at Apam in the Central Region yesterday, he said, the attention to diabetes has been on the low in spite of its high negative impact on society.
He disclosed, after an appeal by the President of Diabetes Association, Elizabeth Denyoh that, diabetes should be considered as HIIV where treatment and medication will be free.
Mrs Elizabeth noted that Ghana is rate fifth in diabetes in Africa yet little attention is given to it.
She said, about 90% of diabetes patients are revealed at the postmortem stage, whiles majority are diagnosed wrongly with malaria and typhoid.
She added that, 37, 000 people were admitted at the hospitals last year as diabetes patients according to District Management Health of Diabetes, however, 80% of Ghanaians pay for their diabetes, hence the call for equal attention as HIV.
November 14th each year has been marked as awareness creation and education of diabetes, and theme for this year is ‘The Family and Diabetes'.
The minister who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Gomoa West said, the MOH noticed as worrying situation when patients visit the hospital with diabetes and be told NHIS does not cover.
According to him, the MOH is considering a review of the package under the NHIS which includes other diseases.
He said the theme was chosen due to the effect it imposes on families. He stated it impact is so great and that connotes as a death sentence when diagnosed.
Causes, Effects and Prevention
According to health professionals significant risk factors of diabetes include; excessive intake of alcohol, tobacco, inadequate rest, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity, family history (for type 1), and unhealthy diet.
These risk factors account for high level of hypertension, high blood lipids cancers and heart attack which accounts for significant levels of diseases and death.
The warning signs of diabetes are excessive hunger and the need to eat more, excessive thirst, weight loss/gain excessive urination, frequent tiredness, visual problems and numbness of feet and hands.
However, these can be curbed by regular exercise, eating vegetables and fruits, drinking water and tea instead of carbonated drinks and fruit juice, reduce the intake of salt, sugar, sweets and oils. In addition, avoid late-night food and daily rest and adequate sleep.