Diabetes mellitus is the commonest of all metabolic diseases all over the world, as it is as well in Ethiopia. At present it is estimated that about 150 million people are affected by diabetes mellitus worldwide. In Ethiopia diabetes is being recognized as one of important health problem. Diabetes mellitus is associated with chronic complications like neuropathy, nephropathy, retinopathy and cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular complications are the major cause of morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients. To assess the awareness of diabetic patients about their illness and associated complications in Ethiopia. Institutionbased cross sectional study was conducted in Tertiary care hospital Ethiopia. Current medication use data were collected by reviewing patients' charts in the diabetic care follow up clinic and by interviewing diabetic patients who were on follow-up during data collection period using semi-structured questionnaire in Jimma University Specialized Hospital (JUSH). A total of 118 diabetic patients were included in the study. 53 (44.92%) of the respondents did not know the type of diabetes they were inflicted with, of those who know the type,40 (33.90%) of respondents were type II and 25 (21.20%) were type I. Incidental finding, or medical checkup as the main cause of first presentation with the disease was 61(51.69%) respondents. 52(61.18%) patients replied that meal omission is the main cause for developing acute complications, followed by insulin omission. 80 (67.79%) had knowledge about long-term complications. Majority of patients had good knowledge on actions to be taken on occurrence of acute complications and reasons for developing acute complications. In order to increase patients awareness, health care providers should provide regular diabetic education for patients during follow-up and pamphlets should be prepared and distributed consistently.
Key words: Awareness, complications, diabetes