Nurse Hydes-Jones stressed that continuous education is important, noting that late diagnosis and lack of knowledge about the disease are the key issues which lead to many people developing diabetic complications.
She gave examples of the two types of diabetes people live with which does not exclude both young and old, including pregnant women, whose case most times can be fatal.
In Sierra Leone, the UK based practising nurse who is also a diabetes ambassador disclosed that there are no proper statistics of people living with lifelong conditions, but Friends of Diabetes Sierra Leone (FODSL) presently assist about a thousand people living with the condition in Freetown and Bo, including six children who have the type 1 of the disease and have to live on insulin for the rest of their lives.
Nurse Hydes-Jones informed the media that the type 2 of the disease develops late in life and if not detected early and healthy life styles not practised, the condition will lead to loss of weight, blindness, impotence, and in some cases amputation of limbs, as a result of excess sugar in the body, which causes sores on the patient, including organ failure.
She called on the public and health workers to raise the flag for both public and private sectors to invest and help those living with the condition, noting that diabetes is a difficult condition to manage.
Narrating her experience, President of the 50/50 Group, Dr Nimata Majeks-Walker commended FODSL for its selfless work to educate and raise the awareness on non-communicable diseases of which diabetes is the main condition that lead to many other lifelong conditions.
She revealed that she has lived with diabetes for eleven years and has had a lot of experience managing the condition.
Dr Majeks Walker noted that there are times when one will get confused over the kinds of food to eat and not to eat, but for health reasons a person living with the condition has to strictly adhere to the do’s and don’ts of less intake of carbohydrate, fats and oils, moist sugar, chocolates, fruits with sugar, white bread as well as sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages.
She appealed to the public to attend the lecture and luncheon sale of foods diabetics should eat, including the opportunity to get a free sugar level test, height and weight measure in order for body mass to be calculated to know risk score.