Diabetes becoming a killer in PNG

Health Watch, Normal


DIABETES is fast becoming a lifestyle disease that is killing many Papua New Guineans.
A recent survey conducted by Hope World Wide (HWW) (PNG) in National Capital District and selected provinces shows that ordinary people do not know much about diabetes and that adults in their early 20s are now getting it, unlike in the past where the disease struck people in their mid-40s.
Diabetes is “not curable but is manageable” and so early detection saves lives.
Detecting diabetes requires all health facilities in the country to have medical instruments to detect and treat diabetic patients, but unfortunately, not all of them are equipped with these.
HWW  has seen the need for this and will be supplying 75 boxes containing medical instruments such as stethoscopes, eye charts, bathroom foot scales, blood glucose meters, blood glucose strips and reflex hammers, among others.
Port Moresby General Hospital,  Koki Diabetic Clinic (run by HWW), other urban and private-run clinics in the city are among the first health facilities that will be receiving these medical supplies starting this week.
The remaining supplies will be given out later to other health facilities in the country.
The medical instruments were donated by the World Diabetes Foundation of which HWW is part of. 
Several workshops have been conducted by HWW to train health workers from Port Moresby General Hospital and the clinics on how to use these instruments.
HWW project officer Sr Miriam Ngangan told The National that currently,   “service providers” did not have these instruments, and there weren’t proper diabetic services in place so HWW had taken the initiative to provide these vital medical supplies.
She said that the workload in facilities like  POMGH was so much that health workers did not have time to speak to diabetic patients on to look after themselves, hence,  she and her colleagues take time out on Tuesdays to speak to these patients.
“It’s more than getting treatment, they need to eat properly and look themselves,” Sr Ngangan said.
“Diabetes is here to stay; they will live with it and die with it.
“Whether you are diabetic or not, we have to educate them about their eating habits.”
Diabetes is a very dangerous disease as it can also affect other organs in the body.
HWW is also planning to do public screening for free and if a person is detected, they will be referred to the diabetic clinic at POMGH for treatment.