Madam Rose Adinyira, Principal Nursing Officer at the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital (ENRH) in the Western Region has bemoaned the high increase in type 2 diabetes cases in the Region.
She disclosed that 435 cases with 49 amputations were recorded in 2019 as against 274 cases with 34 amputations recorded in 2020 as of the end of the 3rd quarter at the Hospital.
She defined type 2 diabetes as a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces – insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
She made the remark in an interview with GNA in commemoration of this year’s World Diabetes Day (WDD) which was held last Saturday under the theme, “The Nurse and Diabetes”.
Madam Adinyira, therefore, called on parents to encourage their children to eat healthy foods, get plenty of physical activity, and maintain a healthy weight.
“Offer your child foods low in fat and calories, focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and strive for variety to prevent boredom. Encourage your child to become active or look for active things to do together”, she encouraged.
Reverend Sister Comfort Arthur, Health Promotion Officer at the Holy Child Catholic Hospital on her part, said uncontrolled type 2 diabetes could lead to chronically high blood glucose levels, causing several symptoms and potentially leading to serious complications.
She lamented on our eating habits as a nation and urged Ghanaians to include foods rich in fiber and healthy carbohydrates in their diet, adding that eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains would help keep our blood glucose levels steady.
On prevention, she said simple lifestyle measures were effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes, and to help prevent type 2 diabetes and its complications, people should achieve and maintain healthy body weight.
She hinted that health impacts of diabetes are that over time, it could damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves, while combined with reduced blood flow, neuropathy (nerve damage) in the feet increases the chance of foot ulcers, infection and the eventual need for limb amputation.
Mr Emmanuel Reinfred Okyere, Western Regional Director of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) when contacted allayed the fears that the Scheme does not cover the treatment of diabetes and its allied illness.
He, therefore, called on the public, especially diabetic patients to renew their memberships if expired and yet to register members should register as a matter of urgency to visit the hospitals as the Scheme can take care of their cost for treatment.