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By Damba Rogers.
Uganda not having smart and well designed guidelines for treating diabetes is affecting provision of treatment to patients which sometimes leads to health dangers.
Doctor Lumu William the president, Uganda Diabetes association reveals that different health centers in the country offer different treatment to patients attributing the miss match to failure by the health ministry to set up proper treatment guidelines to be followed by health workers while treating diabetes patients. A case in point, treatment offered to a patient in Mengo, Rubaga, Nsambya, Mulago national referral, Gulu, Kiboga and other health facilities is completely different and is brought about lack of guidelines to be followed by the health provider while treating patients.
There are globally acceptable guidelines for treating diabetes which can be used as a bench mark but with serious caution over the king or type of diabetes a doctor is treating since the types are different.
Dr. Lumu adds that little time allocated to studying diabetes treatment at medical schools has also left the medicals experts lacking certain basic skills in treating diabetes which has translated to most doctors in the country not knowing how to handle and treat diabetes patients something that the patients have complained about for years and now the association plans to retrain medical workers on how to manage diabetes and its complication as a means to improve treatment.
However, the director non communicable diseases in charge of prevention and control in the life ministry Dr. Gerld Mutungi advises the masses to always mind about their feeding habits noting that most of the diets Ugandans are feasting on are greatly contributing to the increase in diabetes among Ugandans.
He further advises people to feed well, always go for medical checkups, do physicals at least 30 minutes a day as some of the ways to check on the burden of diabetes.
As patients cry out loud over drug shortage, the health ministry official who does not want to sound like a politician agrees with the patients but says they are improvising to see that drugs don’t completely run out of stock in public health facilities.
In Uganda, 1.1% of adult women live with diabetes which spells over 300,000 women many of whom are in reproductive age with total figure for Ugandans having the disease moving to 1 million and among those, over 1000 children are diabetic. Unfortunately about 80% of Ugandans living with diabetes are not aware that they have the disease which then represent later with complications which are difficult to manage.
On average a poor Ugandan can cough a minimum of ugx.150,000 for simple treatment and a maximum of over ugx.500,000 for major treatment of diabetes in a private health facility though in public health facilities treatment is free.
Today Uganda joins the rest of the world to mark the global diabetes day with the main celebration held in Kampala under the theme, Women and diabetes-our right to a health future.