A former Young Leader of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), has launched a project to educate persons living with diabetes.
The project, 'Bloom with Diabetes' is also to create awareness of the existence of Diabetes and bring together persons with the condition so they could learn together and fight better knowing that there are others who share their fate.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Saturday at Premium Diabetes Education and Care Centre (PDECC), Lashibi, the Director of the Project, Ms. Abigail Baaba Boison, informed that the education would help them learn self-management skills to improve upon the care to reduce diabetes complications.
"My vision is to see no child dies of diabetes; I think we deserve to live and live on," Ms. Boison said with enthusiasm.
Ms. Boison indicated that living with diabetes was not easy, "but now I can say I live a normal life because I have been trained and have learnt a lot; the difference between me and someone who doesn't have diabetes is through checking to know my sugar level and eating healthily."
She observed that Diabetes could affect anybody and so the need for everybody to know his or her status "because it was not a curse to live with diabetes and that one would be fine if one goes by the rules in managing the condition."
The Facilitator of the project, Madam Gifty Dede, informed that diabetes was a metabolic condition in which the body could not process the sugars that came through the food one ate "because the Pancreas was either not producing the hormone Insulin, not producing enough, or that the Insulin produced is not active."
Madam Dede said the person with the condition suffered a lot because the Insulin responsible for transporting the sugar from the blood to the body for the body to utilize to produce energy was not available, and with poor management came increased sugar level in the blood and that too much sugar in the blood for very long time could destroy every part of the body.
"But if you manage it well, your chances are like any other person. It needs a little more work; one should be able to estimate what one is eating and estimate ones medication and how much activity one is going to do in order to get to the normal blood sugars," she educated.
Madam Dede, who was also a Clinical Nurse Consultant, Diabetes Education, observed that it was necessary to talk about diabetes because people were usually silent on the subject indicating that people living with Type two condition could go for a long time without knowing they had it, "and so they get used to the symptoms and make excuses for all that, so by the time the body gets sick it's a bit really late."
She added that, "We want people to realize that it is there, it is silent and as you grow older, either with a family history of diabetes, too much alcohol intake, too much smoking and inactivity, the risk is higher, and the higher the risk factors, the higher the chances that you could have diabetes."
In encouraging good eating habits to better manage diabetes, Madam Dede said, "Culturally we entertain with food, and when it comes to food it could be very challenging; sometimes it is the type of food, sometimes it's the amount of food, sometimes it's the times you eat that food, therefore the need to eat regularly so we don't release too much sugar into the blood at a time."