A Junior High School graduate in the Brong Ahafo Region has been sharing the ordeal she went through as a diabetic patient in Ghana. The 19-year-old, Portia Antwiaah was diagnosed with diabetes five years ago.
Her parents could, however, not afford her medication and she was forced to rely on the National Health Insurance to get her drugs. But this meant that she will never get her full dose. Portia said she had to resort to the use of herbal concoctions but those failed her as well.
Her leg subsequently developed ulcers and it had to be amputated.
Portia said she planned committing suicide right after her leg was amputated at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
“I planned in my mind that if I get something which can kill me, whether medicine or whatever, I will use it to kill myself,” she recounts.
Portia’s condition happens to be one of the many challenges diabetic patients face in Ghana.
Many have had their aspirations dashed because they have been unable to get access to insulin.
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. In Sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that 8 percent of the population above 25 years have diabetes”.
Diabetes is a medical condition in which the person has high blood glucose (or blood sugar) either because of insufficient insulin production or because the body cells do not respond properly to insulin or both.
Its complications include cardiovascular ailments, cerebral vascular accidents, renal insufficiency, blindness, sexual impotence and gangrene of the feet which often leads to amputation.