A section of the participants
The National Diabetes Association of Ghana, in preparation towards the celebration of the World Diabetes Day on November14, has held a walk to create awareness about diabetes among citizens.
The walk, supported by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Ecobank, started at the State House and ended at the forecourt of the Ministry of Health.
Elizabeth Esi Denyoh, President of the National Diabetes Association, speaking with the media, explained that the walk was in solidarity with the annual World Diabetes Foundation health walk which kick-starts activities for the World Diabetes Day.
She said about one sixth of the Ghanaian population has diabetes but majority of them are not aware of their condition, indicating that through activities such as the health walk which includes a free screening, more people are getting to know their status.
Mrs Denyoh, however, observed that government recently has restored its tax on imported diabetic medication, which is affecting the control of the health condition in the country.
“We went for a vat rebate so when we import insulin the VAT was waved but since the new government took over, the VAT rebate has been cancelled so the prices have shot up again and now the medication has come up to GH¢42 per vile again and diabetics are really struggling,” she explained.
The National Diabetes Association’s president explained that the situation was having a toll on all aspects of diabetes control in the country.
“We have been to the relevant government agencies but all to no avail,” she pointed out.
She, however, urged the public to know their diabetes status. “Don’t say you do not have diabetes because your status can change at any given time so once a while check your sugar level and if you have it also you can live long with diabetes once you watch your diet, exercise and test your sugar regularly,” Mrs Denyoh added.
The association hopes to screen 50,000 people during the awareness creation month.
World Diabetes Day
This year’s World Diabetes Day theme is on the theme: ‘Women And Diabetes – Our Right To A Healthy Future’.
The campaign will promote the importance of affordable and equitable access for all women at risk for or living with diabetes to the essential diabetes medicines and technologies, self-management education and information they require achieving optimal diabetes outcomes and strengthening their capacity to prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women globally, causing 2.1 million deaths per year.
There are currently over 199 million women living with diabetes. This total is projected to increase to 313 million by 2040.
Two out of every five women with diabetes are of reproductive age, accounting for over 60 million women worldwide.
Women with Type 2 diabetes are almost 10 times more likely to have coronary heart disease than women without the condition while women with Type 1 diabetes have an increased risk of early miscarriage or having a baby with malformations.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri