AN ASSESSMENT OF THE KNOWLEDGE, AWARENESS AND IMPACT OF DIABETES AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS.
1.1 Background Of The Study
Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a chronic, progressive, systemic disease characterized by abnormal lipid, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism caused by insulin insufficiency, resulting in an elevated blood glucose level (Leon, Alan, and Mutnick, 2010). Diabetes mellitus also impairs blood vessel and nerve function and structure. Insulin is the hormone that regulates glucose, lipid, and protein metabolism. The World Health Organization (WHO) categorizes this health concern clinically as type 1, type 2, gestational diabetes (GDM), and additional subtypes known as secondary DM (WHO, 1985). Prediabetes is a term that refers to a group of persons who have a blood sugar level that is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. These people are more likely to acquire type 2 diabetes. According to Graves (2010), the rising prevalence of this disorder among younger age groups might be attributed to a rise in the number of high-risk ethnic groups, the obesity pandemic, and other lifestyle variables.
DM is a worldwide public health issue that has a significant impact on people’s quality of life (Hyelm, 2003), and its prevalence is rising at an alarming pace. According to the International Diabetes Federation, 415 million people worldwide have diabetes mellitus, 14 million of them live in Africa (IDF, 2013). Meanwhile, 90% of these instances of diabetes mellitus are type 2. By 2040, this number is expected to more than double. In Nigeria, the prevalence rate ranges between 2% and 7%. (Wild S, Roglic, and Green 2004). Globally, diabetes mellitus is increasing as a result of a variety of circumstances, including an aging population, bad diets, and sedentary lifestyles that enhance an individual’s proclivity toward obesity. In developed nations, the disease is prevalent among the elderly, but in developing countries, it mostly affects individuals between the ages of 35 and 64, a sizable section of the productive age range. Diabetes mellitus is also prevalent in several countries among adolescents (WHO, 2004). Along with decreased productivity and slowing economic development, the disease imposes a significant economic burden in terms of health care costs (Whiting, 2011). DM’s classic symptoms include excessive water consumption, excessive urination, excessive eating, and weight loss. There is mounting evidence that preventing and/or postponing the development of diabetes is a possible option via a better diet, greater physical activity, and moderate weight loss in order to avoid those with impaired glucose tolerance from advancing to outright diabetes (Chiasson, 2007). Additional risk factors for DM include inherited genetic characteristics, which are prevalent in those with a family history of DM; obesity; and excessive alcohol intake (Braunwald, 2016). Complications of diabetes mellitus mostly impact the eyes, kidneys, cardiovascular, and neurological systems clinically. Diabetes mellitus, according to Hall (2014), is a highly prevalent and severely debilitating chronic disease that has affected humanity. The disease is an increasing source of public health concern in developing nations, just as it has been for a lengthy period of time in the majority of industrialized countries (Braunwald, 2009). Diabetes mellitus murders its victims quietly. Meanwhile, many people are unaware they have the disease until complications appear. Unfortunately, the public is unaware of the magnitude of the issue, as well as of the current strategies for avoiding and controlling DM complications (Park, 2011).
Knowledge of diabetes mellitus may help avoid the onset of chronic co-morbidities, which have a substantial influence on an individual’s quality of life. Information may assist individuals in determining their risk of acquiring diabetes, motivating them to seek appropriate treatment and helping them to adopt behaviors that can help avoid the development of DM. Academic institutions and colleges are excellent locations to launch programs that promote knowledge and awareness regarding lifestyle-related illnesses and preventative actions. A review of the literature revealed just a few studies that tested university students’ knowledge of diabetes mellitus. Few studies that examined undergraduates’ understanding of DM in many Asian nations, including south-western Nigeria, revealed that students lacked basic knowledge. Meanwhile, no research has been conducted on this subject that examines secondary school pupils’ understanding. Thus, this research aims to assess diabetes knowledge, awareness, and effect among senior secondary school students in Bayelsa State’s Nembe Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic, progressive systemic disease that is characterized by abnormal lipid, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism as a consequence of absolute or relative insulin insufficiency. Polyuria, polydipsia, polyphagia, and weight loss are all symptoms of diabetes mellitus or elevated blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia). Diabetes mellitus, if left uncontrolled or improperly managed, may result in significant complications such as blindness, renal failure, and cardiovascular difficulties. These often arise in persons who are unaware of the disease. The purpose of this research was to determine the level of knowledge, awareness, and effect of diabetes among senior secondary school students in Bayelsa State’s Nembe Local Government Area.
1.3 Objective Of The Study
The overall aim of this study is to critically examine the knowledge, awareness and impact of diabetes among senior secondary school students in Nembe Local Government Area Of Bayelsa State. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;
- Ascertain students knowledge of the causes of diabetes.
- Ascertain students knowledge of the types of diabetes.
- Ascertain students knowledge of the symptoms of diabetes.
- Ascertain students knowledge of the risk factors of diabetes.
- Ascertain students knowledge of the impact/complications of diabetes.
1.4 Research Question
The study will be guided by the following questions;
- What is the students knowledge of the causes of diabetes?
- What is the students knowledge of the types of diabetes?
- What is the students knowledge of the symptoms of diabetes?
- What is the students knowledge of the risk factors of diabetes?
- What is the students knowledge of the impact/complications of diabetes?
1.5 Significance Of The Study
Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart failure, renal failure, blindness, and stroke. The control of blood pressure is important in the management of Diabetes. Hence, knowing the risk associated with diabetes, it becomes necessary to educate the young ones on the causes, symptoms and effects of diabetes. This will help to control the prevalence of the illness.
Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as literature review. This means that, other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regards to knowledge, awareness and impact of diabetes among senior secondary school students in Nembe Local Government Area Of Bayelsa State.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
This study is structured to generally examine the knowledge, awareness and impact of diabetes among senior secondary school students in Nembe Local Government Area Of Bayelsa State. However, the study will further ascertain students knowledge of the causes of diabetes, ascertain students knowledge of the types of diabetes, ascertain students knowledge of the symptoms of diabetes, ascertain students knowledge of the risk factors of diabetes, and ascertain students knowledge of the impact/complications of diabetes. Therefore, the respondents for this study will be obtained from senior secondary school students in Nembe Local Government Area Of Bayelsa State.
1.7 Limitation Of The Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
Student: A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution and who is under learning with goals of acquiring knowledge, developing professions and achieving employment in a desired field.
Knowledge: This is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts, skills, or objects contributing to ones understanding.
Diabetes: This is also known as diabetes mellitus. It is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.