Push for diabetes clinics

National, Normal


THERE is an increase in the number of patients with medical complications related to diabetes, Sr Roselyn Tupat from the 9-Mile clinic in NCD said.
Tupat said diabetes and other lifestyle diseases had become a major health issue in the country that the Health Department must now look at building diabetic clinics throughout the country and increase awareness.
She said many people did not know that they were diabetic until they developed complications and turned up at clinics or hospitals for a check up.
Tupat was speaking to The National at the Sir John Guise stadium on Saturday where she led a team of medical staff from HOPE Worldwide (PNG), University of Papua New Guinea and 9-Mile clinics to conduct blood sugar tests on the public as part of activities and awareness leading up to the World Diabetes Day that was commemorated yesterday.
City residents turned up at the stadium and the Port Moresby Arts Theatre to get their blood tested between 8am and noon.
The National was told by medical staff that some patients were referred to the hospital for proper diagnosis and possible treatment according to their test results.
Some diabetic patients also turned up to get tested and it was revealed that some of them had gone off their treatment, which was considered dangerous to their health by medical staff.
Treatment for diabetic patients was another issue that Tupat raised, saying that drug adherence was difficult for some patients who were diagnosed in the city then decided to go back home where access to drugs was difficult.
She added that some thought that diabetes would go away and tend to stop taking their medication and were not careful with their diet and this was very risky and could lead to death.
Tupat said activities such as mass screening for blood sugar allowed the people to know if they were at risk or not and at the same time information was given on good nutrition and exercise.
She said Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) was the only facility providing supervision on diabetes treatment and that Dr Lloyd Ipai was the only physician in the country checking patients suspected of diabetes and those living with the disease.
She also said if there were diabetic clinics in the city and elsewhere where tests and diagnosis could be done, it would take a lot of pressure off the PMGH.