Students take their diabetes awareness campaign to Ghana
Students carry out extensive research during study trip, including a meeting with Ghana's former President
UEL students traveled to Ghana this summer to raise awareness of the threat of diabetes.
The trip was organised by Esther Echegini, who is studying on UEL’s MSc course in Public Health. Esther is a veteran of UEL health promotion campaigns, having previously worked to raise awareness of diabetes in London and antibiotics resistance in Nigeria.
Esther explained, “I decided to apply for Going Global funding to extend the work I have been doing over the past academic year and take our diabetes public health promotion campaign to Ghana.
“It was an opportunity to work independently but also with my fellow students, and use the skills I have gained at UEL to take the lead on a similar health promotion project.”
Ghana has been identified as one of the African countries that is experiencing a rapid rise in the incidence of diabetes. In 2013, 8,500 people in Ghana died as a result of the disease. About 440,000 adults between the ages of 20 to 79 have Type 2 diabetes (3.4 per cent of the population) and this is projected to double by the year 2035.
Esther recruited four students on her course to join her: Uloma Ekechi, Janet Musama, Vanessa Kies, and Jancy Ramesan.
Esther said, “The main aims for this project were to understand how people in Ghana perceive issues relating to diabetes, what knowledge they have of the disease and to raise awareness about this condition.
Esther said she hopes the UEL students’ work will have a lasting impact on health practitioners in Ghana.
She asserted, “This campaign is a step towards a future free of the threat of diabetes.
“I hope we have a future where people will no longer die of diabetes and the condition will be easily curable and the cure affordable to all. I plan to continue my mission to accomplish more to reduce its prevalence.”