Meet the new member society of ISE – DEMSoG (Ghana)
This June the International Society of Endocrinology welcomed a new member to its global family – the Diabetes Endocrine and Metabolic Society of Ghana (DEMSoG).
We had a talk with the President of DEMSoG, Dr. Josephine Akpalu, to learn more about the new society and envision the future collaboration between DEMSoG and ISE.
Keep reading to find out more about the endocrinology in Ghana.
Interview with Dr. Josephine Akpalu
ISE: How and when was The Diabetes Endocrine & Metabolic Society of Ghana formed?
DEMSoG: The Diabetes Endocrine & Metabolic Society of Ghana (DEMSoG) as currently constituted, was formed and launched on 25th October 2018. The new association represented the new face of the defunct Endocrine and Metabolic Society of Ghana. It represents professionals with diverse backgrounds who practice or are involved in diabetes, endocrine and metabolic diseases at all levels including education, patient support, advocacy, research and clinical care.
ISE: What activities the society is planning to develop?
DEMSoG: Since its formation, DEMSoG has been involved in education of healthcare professionals, public advocacy and awareness creation on diabetes, endocrine and metabolic diseases. We have organized activities to commemorate World Diabetes Day and World Thyroid Day. We have also been at the forefront of education on COVID-19 and its impact on diabetes and endocrine conditions. As a core objective, we plan to lead the effort to develop national guidelines on diabetes and endocrine conditions in Ghana.
ISE: What is the state of endocrinology in Ghana and what are the main challenges that you encounter as a discipline?
DEMSoG: A population with largely low literacy and very low health literacy.
Extremely limited numbers of endocrinologists and clinicians capable of managing endocrine disorders as well as shortages in support staff.
Health practitioners tend to have a low index of suspicion for non-diabetes and non-thyroid endocrine conditions resulting in delayed diagnosis and management. In line with our mission DEMSoG plans to be at the forefront of practitioner education to improve this.
The limited availability and high cost of investigating endocrine and metabolic disorders
Limited availability of some of the medications required for the management of endocrine disorders
ISE: What unique diseases do Ghana endocrinologists manage?
DEMSoG: Diabetes mellitus and obesity form the bulk of cases managed in Ghana followed by thyroid disorders. However, in recent times pituitary adenomas, adrenal diseases and parathyroid disorders are increasingly being diagnosed. Some of the unique conditions we manage include:
• Patients with type 2 diabetes tend to have early onset of chronic complications due to poor control.
• Coexistence of diabetes and tuberculosis in our patients
• Some cases of ketosis prone diabetes have been diagnosed
• Exogenous Cushing syndrome from glucocorticoid abuse and misuse
ISE: How do you wish to cooperate with ISE in the future?
DEMSoG: By participating and supporting ISE event and sponsored programs and by organizing local educational programs with the endorsement of ISE.
More about DEMSoG:
To be a leader in endocrinology, diabetology and metabolism, providing education, patient support, advocacy, research, and guidance in clinical care.
- Promote public awareness in diabetes, endocrine and metabolic diseases with regards to its symptoms, risks, prevention and control.
- To train and support people who live or work with diabetes and endocrine diseases.
- To advocate for patients and to engage stakeholders for the provision of resources towards the care and support of patients living with diabetes and endocrine diseases
- To publish materials and guidelines, promote research (basic, translational, and clinical) and medical training in diabetes and endocrinology
- To provide guidance towards quality clinical care at all levels in diabetes and endocrinology
Follow DEMSoG on Social Media – Twitter: DEMSoG @DEMSoG1