Diabetic Service Unit
Diabetes is a chronic disease characterised by elevated blood sugar. This occurs when the pancreas produces insufficient insulin or when the body does not respond to the insulin it produces. There are two types:type I (prevalent in children and adolescents)and II(prevalent in in people above 40 years of age). Risk factors include:family history, hypertension, abnormal cholesterol levels,obesity, physical inactivity etc. Some symptoms include: frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, fatigue,blurred vision, frequent infections, numb and painful hands and feet. Diabetes affects almost every organ in the body and if not diagnosed early and properly could lead to deadly complications such as blindness,stroke, heart attack, paralysis, delayed wound healing and kidney failure. According to the Cameroon National Diabetes and Hypertension program,the prevalence of diabetes in adults in urban areas is currently estimated at 6-8% with as much as 80% of people living with Diabetes who are currently undiagnosed in the population. The diabetic Clinic of the Buea Regional Hospital, is a unit which renders special medical services to diabetic patients and patients at risk of diabetes. Since 2008, this clinic has been in existence and has been coperately run by Doctors and nurses. Together, they ensure the overall well being of patients and effective attainment of the objectives of the clinic. The clinic runs from Monday to Friday,8am to 4pm with an average of about 40 patients during each session. It starts with the reception, screening and education of patients by the nurses. The nurses then channel the patients to be seen by the doctors who consult and further educate the patients. The patients received during the diabetic clinic fall under either of the following categories: 1/Old patients already enrolled in the clinic coming for their follow up visit 2/Newly diagnosed patients referred for better management 3/Patients coming for personal medical check-up 4/Patients transferred from other diabetic clinics 5/Patients who have been lost to follow up and are presenting with complications. The complications of diabetes involves almost all organs of the body such as the brain and nerves, the eyes, kidneys,heart etc Therefore, in order to better manage the complications of diabetes a multidisciplinary approach is employed. When complications are suspected or diagnosed during the doctor’s consultation, patients are referred to see the corresponding specialist.
- Weekly consultations and follow up of all diabetic and/or hypertensive patients, addressing complaints and complications if present.
- Education on the disease and its complications.
- Education on personal hygiene and foot care.
- Education with emphasis on life style modification (exercise, cessation of smoking and alcohol) and diet. With regards to nutrition, we educate our patients on the following:
- Education On regular blood glucose monitoring and self-administration of insulin.
- Education on frequent acute complications of Diabetes and their emergency management at home prior to consultation.
- Provision of a supportive community (Diabetic patients association) to enhance acceptance of status, adherence to therapy, and lobby for discounts on routine Lab investigations.
- Sensitization campaign, Free screening and consultations for Diabetes and hypertension during the week of world Diabetes day (14th November).