A Liberian journalist and founder of the Liberia Diabetes Testing Center located on Front Street, Monrovia is calling on medical institutions in Liberia to provide diabetes testing to all pregnant women in the country.
Mr. James Momoh who is based in the United States made the call over the weekend via mobile, saying medical institutions testing pregnant women for diabetes and providing immediate treatment will help in reducing some of the complications that are associated with gestational diabetes delivery.
Mr. Momo further said, the mortality rate among children with diabetes is increasing but early diagnosis, quality care and treatment could divert some of the complications often faced by mothers and their newborns.
He said children who survive into adolescence may experience early onset of diabetes complication and early death due to poor quality of care and management. Momoh said, gestational diabetes is developed suddenly by some pregnant women with no history of diabetes but often goes away after delivery. However, women that find themselves in such health status are potential candidates for developing diabetes along with their infant.
The founder of the Liberia Diabetes Center told our reporter that while diabetes found in adults is manageable, juvenile diabetes or type one diagnosed in children is difficult to treat or manage and children with such medical condition must live on insulin for the rest of their lives. He said providing routine diabetes assessment for pregnant women in the country will enable expected mothers to monitor their food consumption or engaged themselves in life style changes that could reduce some of the complications that are associated with gestational diabetes.
He said expected mothers that fall in the category of developing diabetes must be provided counseling on the complications of the disease, its prevention and management. Momoh said diabetes has become the leading cause of death and disability globally but the effects of the disease is often felt in developing countries due to the lack of medical facilities and trained professionals that can provide the needed treatment and care to people with diabetes. He said blindness, amputation and kidney disease are the irreversible stages of diabetes.
“These stages can be delay or avoided by early detection and lifestyle changes. Momoh disclosed that about four hundred thousand Liberians are presently living with diabetes and the number could be a fraction of those that are unknowingly living with the disease. He said one of the major problems faced by people with diabetes in Liberia is the lack of education on the disease management and prevention. He said the disease is not transmissible from one person to another but hereditary. “Once a family member is diagnosed with diabetes, it is possible that someone in the family will develop the disease”
Commenting on the progress of the Liberia Diabetes Testing Center, Momoh said the establishment of a diabetes testing center in the country was intended to provide the needed support to the Liberian diabetes community ‘ We are certainly meeting those needs through our testing and counseling initiatives. He said the center is also involved in providing nutritional support and a comprehensive health assessment.