Medical experts have said 50 percent of men diagnosed with diabetes in the country have sex problems due to erection failure, which could only be treated through stimulation drugs, Viagra.
The experts have also noted that by the year 2030 diabetes will overtake HIV and Aids as dominating health issue.
Speaking on Wednesday during a science café on diabetes organized by Malawi-Liverpool Welcome Trust in Blantyre, Professor Theresa Allain said the erection failure is hugely caused by hypertension medication diabetic male patients take.
Professor Allain is Head of Medicine Department at College of Medicine/Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH).
“Research we had at QECH revealed that high blood pressure tablets cause erection problems in male patients. Although most patients tend to hide it, erection failure is not permanent. It can be treated through Viagra,” Professor Allain explained.
She added: “Male patients can be sexually active and make their partners happy again if they take recommended dosage of Viagra. Since we don’t have Viagra at Central Medical Stores, we recommend them to buy it at certified pharmacies”.
QECH alone has registered 2,500 diabetes patients while southern region has 3,500 patients. The hospital has 30 registered children diagnosed with Type One diabetes, which is caused by pancreas failure.
And according to another expert, Dr. Phil Burgess diabetes can cause blindness, saying 30 percent of patients in Blantyre have experienced eye damage due to the disease.
“Diabetes creates new blood vessels, cause scar tissue and leakage due to abnormal inflow and outflow of fluids thereby affecting the eye. It can also cause stroke as more sugar in the blood damages blood vessels and brain nerves,” he said.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) funded survey, 1 out of 20 people are diagnosed with diabetes in Malawi and that 5.6 percent (about one million) of adult population suffers from diabetes.
However, Diabetes Association of Malawi has revealed that only 15, 000 patients are registered across the country and has since bemoaned shortage of diabetes drugs in public hospitals.
“In 15 years to come the figure of diabetic people is expected to double, which is not a good thing. There is no medicine in hospitals; we are dying, very sad indeed. It is possible to live longer with diabetes this is why we are urging people to go for screening,” said Timothy Ntamabalika association’s president.
He has since asked government to incorporate diabetes as primary and secondary school syllabus as one way of creating awareness.
During the science café, it was disclosed that diabetes can be hereditary though it is not ‘dominant form of transmission’ like other hereditary diseases.
Diabetes occurs in two types. Type One Diabetes which is caused by pancreas failure and Type Two (common diabetes) caused by body resistance to insulin. Common diabetes symptoms are recurrent thirsty and urination.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :