Introduction/Background: Diabetes mellitus is an endocrine disorder characterized by sustained hyperglycaemia due to loss of insulin secretion and/or impairment of insulin sensitivity at target tissues. More than 15.9 million people have diabetes accounting for more deaths in addition to infectious diseases in low income countries in Africa. Despite the alarming statistics the etiology and prognosis leading to the prevention and management of diabetes still lacks the needed attention and comprehensive education among patients in low income countries.

Aim: The aim of this study is to examine the knowledge of causes and effects of diabetic symptoms among patients in a low income country.

Method: A qualitative methodological framework focusing on participant’s illness experiences and personal beliefs about diabetes was used. We purposely recruited 30 diabetic patients who exhibited diabetic symptoms. After demographic information, each respondent completed the LANSS to ascertain neuropathy after which a semi structured interview guide was used to elicit each respondent’s view regarding diabetes. Data was transcribed and analyzed using a thematic approach.

Results: Most respondents did not know their diabetic type and the precipitating factors for their diabetic symptoms. However some reported that their diabetes was spiritual and might have been contracted through bewitchment and other supernatural means. Others traced their condition to hereditary but the main causes of diabetes were generally lacking. Majority didn’t know their medications but requested for the need to have a much potent medication.

Conclusion: Effective education and knowledge on the etiology, causes and prognosis of diabetes is generally lacking among patients living in poor countries.


V.A. Adzika: None.

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