Ecobank collaborated with the CBC Health Services to organise a two-day campaign to screen for diabetes and its risk factors for free, on November 9-10, 2020, at their branches in Yaounde (Hippodrome), Douala (Mboppi and Nkoulouloun), Bafoussam (Marche A) and Buea (Molyko).
The campaign was promoted via social media and featured education through health talks, distribution of IEC materials and short videos, screening for diabetes, hypertension and obesity, counselling and referral.
Diabetes, like other NCDs, begins insidiously and the appearance of symptoms and signs heralds the onset of complications. Indeed, abnormal blood sugar control usually precedes the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes by about 10 years. As such, routine and opportunistic screening for diabetes are important for early detection, diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, and consequently, a delay in the onset of complications. Even if diabetes is not detected at the time of the screening, risk factors for diabetes and/or other NCDs may be identified, targeted counselling on prevention will be provided, and appropriate referrals made if need be. Screening, therefore, is an indispensable tool in the fight against diabetes.
A case in point: a beneficiary of the November 9-10, 2020 campaign, screened at the Hippodrome branch, and who was apparently well, was diagnosed with hypertension at the hospital to which he was referred, and treatment started, after a very high blood pressure was detected at the screening site.
This collaborative effort between Ecobank Cameroon and the CBC Health Services, comes against the backdrop of growing calls to #ActOnNCDs through an ‘all-of-society’ approach and puts the partners in the spotlight for championing this action. Hopefully, this precedent will set the pace and spur other relevant stakeholders to action, in the fight against #NCDs