From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
University of Abuja (UniAbuja) has entered in agreement with Diabetes Africa, a network of health professionals, which will enable it establish a top-class educational programme on diabetes education which, expectedly, will improve the quality of care offered to diabetes patients across Africa.
The Institution said the academic programme will lead to the award of Master’s degree in diabetes education by the UniAbuja, with support from Diabetes Africa in the form of experience, expertise and fundraising.
Spokesman of the institution, Dr. Habib Yakoob, in a statement released in Abuja, on Sunday, explained that the partnership will also address the dearth of Diabetologists and other health care professionals who play critical role in the study and management of diabetes.
UniAbuja Vice-Chancellor Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, in his remarks, said the feat has made UniAbuja a pacesetter in the diabetes education programme.
He said: “Hopefully, it’s going to be a mark in the training in this area of professionalism, better knowledge management and treatment in Africa. I will ensure the collaboration brings about the strengthening of health care services especially with regard to treatment of diabetes in Nigeria.”
The Chairman of the Eastern African Diabetes Study Group, Prof. Silver Bahendeka, in his remarks, said diabetes education cannot be underrated given the alarming rate of the disease and its complications.
He said that it’s heartwarming to see that UniAbuja has taken the lead in establishing the programme, and looking forward to seeing the involvement of other institutions across Africa as Diabetes Africa rolls out programmes.
“We have been looking forward to someone to take the lead and now that UniAbuja has done it; congratulations,” Prof. Bahendeka said.
CEO of Diabetes Africa, Dr. Greg Tracz, lauded the commitment of UniAbuja to the venture, pointing out that COVID-19 had shown the world that the dichotomy between communicable and non-communicable diseases need to be surmounted.
He said: “People living with diabetes were at high risk of contracting a range of communicable diseases. So, we believe strongly in tackling diabetes in all possible ways and the most impactful way to tackle diabetes as early as possible is through education.”
Meanwhile, the Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, UniAbuja, Prof. Felicia Anumah, who facilitated the partnership, explained that the programme will have international faculties and will run on a dual mode, virtual lectures and clinicals, which will take place in some identified centres across the country.
She said the burden of the complications of diabetes in Nigeria was quite high because of the poor quality care and the unaffordability of medications and blood glucose monitoring devices by many patients.
She said: “It has been the dream to make this impact in diabetes education. And I am grateful to Diabetes Africa for being interested and ready to support the venture. I feel partly fulfilled.”