Mr Ken Kpodo, the Executive Director for Rural Aid Alliance Foundation, a non-governmental organisation based in Takoradi, has said undiagnosed cases of diabetes is widespread in the society.
He attributed the situation to limited resources and low prioritization of diabetes screening, resulting in delayed diagnosis and escalating health threats on diabetes.
Mr Kpodo made this known in a press release issued to mark this year's world diabetes day celebration, which is being held under theme: "The Family and Diabetes".
He said it is important to raise awareness on the impact diabetes has on the family and also promote the role the family has in the management of care, prevention and education on the condition.
The CEO said it was equally important to promote diabetes advocacy efforts as well as promote coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a serious global threat.
Mr Kpodo described diabetes as a chronic non-communicable condition that occurrs when the body either does not produce enough insulin or cannot effectively use the insulin it does produce, resulting in high levels of blood sugar in the body.
He said the prevalence rate of diabetes was 3.6 per cent which is higher than that of HIV/AIDS, adding that in 2017, a total of 518,400 cases of diabetes was recorded.
He said currently diabetes cases are around 515,200 and that an estimated number of 257,600 people are undiagnosed thereby posing an increased risk of complication for people living with the condition and have no knowledge of their condition.
Mr Kpodo said 425 million people are living with diabetes worldwide who are in the age group of between 20-79 years with 79 per cent of them living in low and middle income countries.
The CEO said more than one million children and adolescents have type one diabetes and that one out of seven births were affected by high blood glucose in pregnancy.
He said about 327 million people with diabetes were in the working class and that diabetes caused four million deaths in 2017 adding that diabetes was responsible for at least 727 billion dollars in health expenditure in 2017.
The Executive Director said three hospitals in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly recorded over 1,500 diabetes cases in 2017 with records of unspecified number of amputated legs, while many more were living with the condition undiagnosed.
He called on government to take relevant measures to improve upon the health outcomes of people with diabetes, prevent the development of type two diabetes and its associated complications and help stop the discrimination against people with diabetes.
Mr Kpodo urged government to honour its commitment to the universal health coverage by 2030 and step up action to achieve the WHO target of a zero per cent increase in diabetes prevalence by 2025.