Audio Files: Interview with Dr. Harold Dzigbodi Agbenu

Dr. Agbenu describes the major medical needs of his community in Ghana.
Dr. Agbenu reflects on the impact of attending ADA's 71st Scientific Sessions on his medical practice.

About Dr. Harold Dzigbodi Agbenu

Dr. Harold Dzigbodi Agbenu is a physician originating from Accra, Ghana in West Africa. He was sponsored by the Society for Worldwide Medical Exchange (SWME) to attend the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) 71st Scientific Sessions in San Diego, California, which took place June 24-28, 2011.

Dr. Agbenu has been working at the Ghana Police Hospital for the past 15 years and is currently head of the Out Patient Department.  Ghana has over 25,000 police officers; roughly 8% of them are affected by Diabetes.  In an effort to reduce this figure, Dr. Agbenu is spearheading health education programs, with an emphasis on adherence to medication.

Through Dr. Agbenu’s advocacy with the Ghana Police High Command, mandatory, weekly physical exercise has been instituted in all 450 police barracks scattered across the country. He has also embarked on over 150 speaking tours, raising awareness about the menace of diabetes to officers, cadets and recruits in various police training schools. His message reaches over 600 trainees every year.

Taking a more comprehensive approach to combating diabetes within the Ghana police force, Dr. Agbenu has also met with several groups of police wives, educating them on the importance of cooking healthy food, less in fats and oils, and rich in fruits and vegetables. Since many of them are illiterate, he developed a simple leaflet showing basic anti-diabetes messages with illustrations to help them better understand the issues.

In 2006, Dr. Agbenu founded the first diabetic clinic at the Ghana Police Hospital, solely dedicated to the needs of diabetic patients.  Twice a week, the clinic offers Public Health Nurses general education on diabetes, the need for proper food care, exercise and healthy diets. As a result of this initiative, the number of diabetes related amputations of lower limbs has been drastically reduced at the Police Hospital.