MR. CHAIRMAN

NIIMEI NAAMEI

DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS AND MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORP

REPRESENTATIVES OF NGOs AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR

MEMBERS OF THE HEALTH PROFESSION

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
We are gathered here today to commemorate this year’s World Diabetes Day. I am particularly happy to be part of this event because of the harsh impact diabetes and its complications have on the finances of individuals and their families, and the economies of nations.

Diabetes has now become a disease of global concern. It is estimated by the International Diabetes Federation’s Atlas that in 2015, there were 415 million people with diabetes in the world, over 14 million in Africa and 266,200 in Ghana. It is also estimated that diabetes claimed a persons’ life every six seconds in the world and caused about 5,000 deaths in Ghana in 2015.

Ghana is commemorating this year’s World Diabetes Day on the theme: “Know Your Risk, Get Screened Now.”

This theme is appropriate as 1 in 2 (46%) people with diabetes in the world and over 70 percent of the diabetic cases in Ghana are undiagnosed. These cases are detected after the death of the victims.

Ladies and Gentlemen, diabetes is a life threatening chronic condition, which can result in complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, gangrene of the feet leading to amputations, stroke, impotence, visual impairment and blindness.

In the past diabetes affected older people, but we are beginning to see more and more young people, children and adolescents being affected. This we understand is mainly due to the increasing number of people who are overweight and obese within these groups coupled with physical inactivity and the adoption of unhealthy diets, which are all lifestyle issues.

People with family history of diabetes have increased risk of developing the disease. It is therefore advisable to embrace the preventive approach towards the fight against diabetes, which includes healthy diets, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and monitoring blood sugar levels.

Diabetes may go undiagnosed for several years, until complications set in. Its symptoms vary from person to person, but they include:
1. Excessive thirst
2. Increased urination
3. Extreme fatigue
4. Excessive hunger
5. Weight loss, and
6. Blurred vision
One needs to visit a health facility at the moment one observes any of the above symptoms.

I understand health professionals from the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and other institutions are offering diabetes screening service today to enable people to check their conditions. I would like to commend them for this gesture.

I would also like to thank everyone here, especially the young ones, for participating in this campaign. I hope that you will continue to exercise regularly, eat healthy foods and go for regular screening.

These will strengthen your bodies, improve your health status and protect you from many diseases. Let us all practice these simple healthy lifestyles to protect our future, the future of our children and the future of our dear nation.

I thank you for your attention and may God bless us all.