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Alex Segbefia
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A group of concerned diabetics has threatened to hit the streets in protest over what according to it is the lack of necessary facilities for managing victims of the health condition in the country.

According to John Mensah, the leader, the group “has attracted close to a hundred members and the number is swelling. We are united in our resolve to push government to show more commitment to the cause of diabetes management.”

The group complained about the rising number of amputations of diabetics – an anomaly Mr Mensah attributes to the absence of a national foot care centre in the country.

The leader said, “This has accounted for the many instances of amputations. From February 2015 to date, Korle-Bu has recorded 116 amputations and KATH 78, Ho 64, Tamale 32 and Cape Coast 72. If such a facility had been in existence patients could have been spared the trauma of losing their limbs.”

The group is also demanding the training of nurses in the care of diabetic patients because the current order does not inure to the interest of diabetic patients.

Members also want the cost of insulin and other items required by diabetic patients subsidised.

Asked why they were not channelling their grievances through the recognised Diabetics Association of Ghana, Mr John Mensah said, “The association is having a lot of challenges turning things around for diabetic patients in the country. We have decided therefore to take our destiny into our own hands.”

When contacted, Mrs Elizabeth Esi Denyoh, President of the International Diabetes Federation West Africa, who doubles as the President of the Ghana Diabetes Association, said: “We are doing our best under the circumstances to seek the welfare of diabetics in the country. Though we encounter challenges, we will not rest on our oars. We are seeking to have audience with the authorities so that teething problems can be addressed from that level.”

Asked whether it was in order for the aggrieved diabetics to demonstrate over their plight, she said: “We are unable to stop such a constitutional right of a group of Ghanaians who deem this line of action the most appropriate means of having government come to the aid of diabetics in the country.”

When DAILY GUIDE contacted the Public Relations Officer of the Health Ministry for a response to the concerns of the group, he declined comments, asking that the group, which he claimed not to know, should write to the ministry over issues its members might have.

This year’s World Health Day, which focused on diabetes, was held recently under the theme, “Stay Super: Beat Diabetes,” during which symposium Health Minister Alex Segbefia said government had embarked on several initiatives to enhance progress towards the reduction of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases in the country.

Some of these interventions, he said, were the screening for diabetes among Ghanaians and intensification of public health education on the disease.

In spite of the intervention, Mr Segbefia said, there was still more to be done with regard to the increasing trends of the disease in a country with the statistics of those suffering from it starting at four million.

Mrs Denyoh, who spoke at the function, had lamented the rising cost of insulin and related drugs for children and young adults living with the condition.

She also complained about the cost of glucometers and strips for self-monitoring and appealed to the government to subsidise the cost of these drugs and equipment.
Source: Daily Guide

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