In Ghana, about 4 million people are living with diabetes according to the Ghana Diabetes Association. Rates have been on the rise since 2005, a trend that’s being echoed worldwide.
iWatch Africa analysis of health data from 2005 to 2016 revealed a striking rise in diabetes. The data first published by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in 2018 revealed a 46.2 percent increase in diabetes death rates from 2005 to 2016.
Diabetes, which ranked as the number 14 cause of most deaths in 2005, is now the number 7 cause of most deaths and admissions in Ghana. Diabetes is linked to many complications, from heart disease and kidney damage to eye problems and hearing impairments. Most of its complications are due to underlying insulin resistance, which is a foundational cause in many cases of chronic disease.
Diabetes could easily be called pre-cancer or pre-heart disease, because the insulin resistance is damaging to all of your body’s tissue including that of your brain.
Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, a former Director General of the Ghana Health Service has advised that healthy meal should always include staple foods such as legumes, vitamin rich foods and protein source foods.
He said Ghanaians should reduce their alcohol intake and embark on regular exercises to lower their blood sugar levels.
The nutritionist further called on young people to read more about diabetes and learn more about its early detection to slow down chronic complications.
Diabetes and associated chronic conditions are rapidly emerging as major health problems. It remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide, the World Health Organisation has said.
It is estimated that 347 million people globally have diabetes.
Report by Gideon Sarpong | iWatch Africa