14 Nov 2010
Pharmacists, Physicians and the general public converge at a Presbyterian Church in Douala, Cameroon
As part of the activities to mark celebration of the World Diabetes Day on the 14thNovember, over 300 people gathered at the Presbyterian Church Bonamoussadi, Douala on Saturday November 13thto listen to lectures on diabetes and also participate in free screening. This assembly was coordinated by Mrs Blanche Achu-a pharmacist and also elder of that congregation. She enlisted the help of some of her friends and colleagues of the health profession to see the program through. Three pharmacists (Sophie Dobill , Arrey Ebika, Njei Timah and three physicians Dr Achu Joko (Internist), Dr Njweipi Joe (Surgeon), and Dr Ngwane Samuel (Dermatologist) took part in the activities among a host of Nurses and medical students.
Before 8 a.m people had started gathering and health personnel were assigned to obtain the following information from each person; name, age, sex, profession, height, weight, fasting blood sugar value and blood pressure.
The lectures then followed. Mrs Achu Blanche opened the lectures with focus on the definition of diabetes and its prevention. She also debunked the popular belief that the consumption of Guinness drink and bitter leaf (vegetable) will prevent diabetes. She emphasized on more physical activity, weight control and proper choice of what we eat.
Screening and lectures on World Diabetes day at P.C. Bonamoussadi, Douala (photo: Njei M.T)
The next two lectures were from Dr Achu Joko who talked on ‘Diabetes and diet’ and also on ‘Complications of Diabetes’ On diet he encouraged the audience to eat more fibre containing food, and whole grains and in a reasonable quantity. He discouraged people from consuming saturated fats and advised that vegetable oil is preferable for cooking. On the complications of diabetes, the reality was brought closer to the audience with the graphic pictures projected from a slide that accompanied the lecture.
Dr Njweipi Joe then followed with a lecture on “Diabetic Foot”. This is a collection of pathologic changes affecting the lower extremity in diabetics. Talking as a surgeon that has performed many amputations on diabetics, Dr Njweipi gave advice to diabetic patients on how they can take care of their feet so as to avoid complications. He said that simple measures like avoiding undersized shoes and general foot hygiene do help. There was also a lecture on diabetes during pregnancy.
Here are key facts on diabetes published by the World Health Organization in 2009
More than 220 million people worldwide have diabetes.
In 2005, an estimated 1.1 million people died from diabetes.
Almost 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Almost half of diabetes deaths occur in people under the age of 70 years; 55% of diabetes deaths are in women.
WHO projects that diabetes deaths will double between 2005 and 2030.
Healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco use can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
For more information on diabetes, these are useful links
Related article: Obesity: A Weighty Health Problem
Njei Moses Timah