“I was advised whenever I became pregnant, that I developed symptoms of diabetes. For the six times that I had my children, though four of them did not survive, I did not take the warnings seriously,” admitted Ms. Aletha Blamon. “In the end, I ended up being amputated twice on the same leg. I am grateful to God that the Liberia Diabetes Center (LDC) finally came to my rescue and through their support, I am not depressed; I am making use of my life.”
The trained teacher who had to stop teaching because of her condition has resumed teaching, and is presently doing so at a community school on Duport Road, Paynesville, outside Monrovia. Ms. Blamon said her battle with the disease started in 2001. “I want my fellow Liberians to at least get tested to know where they stand with their blood sugar,” she advised.
Blamon said she is encouraging Liberians to make sure that they understand what diabetes is and its devastating impact, as a way of adding meaning to her life. “I also want the Liberian government and humanitarian groups in the health sector to work along with the LDC to bring hope to many who are already down,” Ms. Blamon said. Until support came from the LDC, “there appeared to be no hope for me. It was difficult but when the LDC came to support me, I realized that all was not lost.”
The devastating effect of diabetes, which can result in poor eyesight, kidney problems, nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, impotency, pregnancy complications, and amputation, is incalculable. According to LDC chief executive officer, James Momoh, the good news is that “You can prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes that is prevalent in Liberia through a healthy lifestyle.” He said the Liberia Diabetes Center is on a humanitarian mission to make sure that Liberians get to know their blood sugar level, while diabetics are helped to manage the disease. “But that can only happen when people get tested in their determination to fight this dangerous disease that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Liberians,” he added.
He said supporting Ms. Blamon demonstrates the center’s commitment to providing adequate information so Liberians can make informed decisions on their health. Momoh said diabetes is responsible for kidney disease in many Liberians, “and this must stop.” Apart from providing nutritional supplements to build an individual’s immune system against diabetes, Momoh said the center now has a gymnasium to boost their overall physical wellbeing. He called on Liberians not to neglect the most basic exercise of checking their blood sugar level, blood pressure, and oxygen level as well as maintaining healthy lifestyles.
The Liberia Diabetes Center is located on Front Street.