More public awareness needed on diabetes

More awareness needs to be done in Samoa on the dangers of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes.

That is the view of Dr. Xiaokun Gang, who specialises in endocrinology and works at the Motootua Hospital, as part of an agreement between the Governments of Samoa and China on the provision of medical aid and expertise.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Dr. Gang said she has been working at the Motootua Hospital in the last five months and she sees the need for more awareness.

“In Samoa, there is a great need of doctors and because there are a higher number of patients with diabetes, I felt that there needs to be more awareness so that people can watch what they eat.

“Firstly, people diagnosed with diabetes need to realize that this particular disease is a big problem. 

“They need to control it through the right eating habits, regular exercise, and it is important for everyone to have a full body examination just in case they might not be aware that they are sick like blood tests,” she said.

Junk food such as Coke, chips or fried chicken should be avoided by diabetics, the doctor added, to reduce the risks of being diagnosed with diabetes. 

“All over the world there are so many people suffering from diabetes and it is everyone responsibility to take charge and be the change they need in their life so that they can have a healthy lifestyle.

“And speaking of my time here in Samoa, most of the time I worked in the rounds, meaning making my way around the ward and checking on the patients in my area of expertise.

“I am happy to say that the treatment I administered for the patients are convenient and effective for them,” she added.

Dr. Gang also acknowledged the work of their local colleagues, saying their partnership opened the door for the exchange of knowledge and education.

“We acknowledge the work done by doctors here in Samoa because they have no choice but to work with limited resources, in terms of equipment and medicine, and it was also a good opportunity for us and local doctors to exchange knowledge and experience.

“So that we can both improve the services we provide and because we are only here for a limited time we wanted to leave something behind with them,” she added. 

According to the International Diabetes Federation, 425 million adults (20-79 years) live with diabetes and this is expected to increase to 629 million people by 2045. Samoa is among the top 10 obese countries in the world.

Dr. Gang is part of the medical team from China through the signed agreement of the Memorandum of Understanding between Samoa and China.

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