Agaju Madugba, Katsina
The Diabetes Association of Nigeria says Nigeria has a population of about 10 million people living with diabetes.
“The disturbing aspect is that there are quite a number of people who walk about without the knowledge that they have diabetes,” the National President of the association, Dr Alkali Mohammed, who is also the Chief Medical Director, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, said at the weekend in Katsina.
Mohammed, who spoke during a town hall meeting organised by the Katsina State chapter of the Diabetes Association of Nigeria, described diabetes as a leading non-communicable disease, projected to afflict 522 million people globally by 2030.
He said that the group was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health to make it mandatory for all hospitals in Nigeria to embark on routine diabetes screening for all patients whether they have diabetes symptoms or not.
According to Mohammed, “the International Diabetes Federation is an affiliate of the WHO which has been able to pioneer two high level meetings of the United Nations on non-communicable diseases including diabetes making all leaders of the world to commit themselves to contain afflictions of non-communicable diseases.
“Type 2 diabetes is all about lifestyle which means that people should avoid sedentary lifestyles.
“People should avoid consumption of processed and fast foods which encourage development of type 2 diabetes.
“People should eat healthy food, the closer the food is to nature, the safer,” he advised.
“What I mean is that, it is better to take raw orange or pineapple, for example, than taking the processed varieties of the products with preservatives.
“People should also do a lot of exercise. Nowadays, you see that people take vehicles to go to short distances instead of taking a walk which is healthier and safer.”
In his keynote address at the programme, a former Katsina State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Badamasi Lawal, noted that diabetes has reduced the quality of life of many people and urged governments at all levels to provide free diabetes drugs for patients.
He said, “the interplay of environmental factors and scarcity of resources has left the care and management of diabetes in a deplorable state.
“The apparent hopeless on the part of diabetes patients and the desire to regain their health tend to expose them to patronising unothodox health practitioners.”
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterised by either partial or absolute deficiency of insulin in the blood, resulting in high glucose level in the body which may result in cardiovascular and kidney problems, erectile dysfunction, diabetes eye disease and blindness.
Some of the symptoms of diabetes infection are said to include frequent urination, weight loss, blurred vision, itching and weakness.