Dignitaries with the national guideline
The Ministry of Health as part of activities to commemorate the World Diabetes Day has launched a national guideline for the management of diabetes, which remains a leading cause of death in the country.
The guideline which is the first of its kind is to bridge gaps in diabetes management and ensure standardization while improving clinical and public knowledge on the disease to reduce its prevalence, complications and associated deaths.
According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), an average of 200,000 cases of diabetes is recorded in Ghana annually with about 10 percent of the population estimated to live with the disease.
Approximately 7.5 percent of the adult population is said to have Type-2 diabetes with fears that a lot more people may have the condition but unaware of it.
Launching the guideline in Accra, the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said the development of the guideline was significant to reduce diabetes prevalence and improve healthcare for all.
“This document represents a major pillar in the implementation of NCD strategy specifically addressing the burden of diabetes in Ghana and the achievement of Universal Health coverage 2030 agenda.
The national diabetes guidelines will serve as a roadmap for healthcare professionals, outlining best practices and evidence-based approaches to the management of diabetes and it is expected to not only improve the quality of care but also empower patients to take control of their health and lead fulfilling lives,” he indicated.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu expressed the Ministry’s commitment to seeking innovative ways to reduce exposure to risk factors that contribute to diabetes and the non-communicable disease (NCDs) burden in the country.
He called for collaboration in implementing the guideline adding that; “it is essential that we work together to ensure that the real impact of these guidelines will be felt in our communities and healthcare facilities, where individuals living with diabetes and those at risk will benefit from the best practices outlined and it requires dedication, collaboration, and a commitment to promoting a healthier lifestyle for all our citizens.”
The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye in a speech read on his behalf noted that the implications of diabetes and NCDs on social and national development cannot be over-emphasized.
“This owes mainly to high cost of routine care and that of complications that may arise from its improper management among other cost.”
He maintained that the guideline was not only to influence clinical and policy decisions on the handling of NCDs but “also to educate and direct healthcare practitioners on the right approach to its recognition and management.”
Dr. Efua Commeh, the Programme Manager for NCD Control highlighted that the guideline aims at promoting prevention and education, early detection and diagnosis, treatment and management as well as empower patients to live better lifestyles.
She entreated the public to adopt healthy lifestyles to improve their health and reduce vulnerability to diabetes.
“Eat a balanced diet, engage in regular physical activity, and regularly check your blood sugar level at least once every three months,” she advised.
Diabetes is a global health challenge, particularly in low- and middle-income countries and is a group of diseases that result in too much sugar in the blood (high blood glucose).
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reports that 10.5 percent of the adult population between 20-79 years has diabetes, with over 90 percent of people with the disease having type 2 diabetes.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri