A Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Prof. Antonia Ogbera, has said it is unfortunate that many people suffering from diabetes Miletus are unable to afford to buy the medication for the ailment, Punch Newspaper reports.
Ogbera said this at a webinar organised by a pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk, to mark 2020 World Diabetes Day. She spoke on the topic, “The Rising Burden of Diabetes: The Facts, The Figures and The Drivers of The Disease in Nigeria.”
The Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist said 19 million adults were living with diabetes in Africa, adding that the figure may rise to 47 million by 2045.
She said: “Globally, 463 million people have diabetes and by 2045, it is estimated that 700 million people will have it. South Africa and Nigeria are the top countries in Africa with the highest cases of diabetes.”
“About 63,958 persons are estimated to have died from the diabetes-related disease in Nigeria and about 60 per cent of diabetes mellitus cases in Nigeria are undiagnosed.’’
Ogbera said the drivers of the epidemic in Nigeria included behavioural and lifestyle factors, urbanisation and health system-related issues.
She added that there was the need to scale up screening and diagnosis of diabetes at primary health care.
“There is the need to scale up health education using different channels such as radio, television, print and social media; conduct national prevalence survey and ensure access to medication at primary care level,’’ Ogbera said.
She urged the federal and state governments to subsidise both screening and diabetes medications to reduce the menace of diabetes-related deaths.
Also, a Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist at the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Dr Ejiofor Ugwu, advocated subsidy for diabetes medications.
He spoke on the topic, “Diabetes Prevention and Control: Why Multidisciplinary Care and Multisectoral Response Are Needed in Nigeria.”
“The treatment of diabetes requires multidisciplinary care because it can’t be handled by one person alone, but requires professionals from a different range of disciplines to work together. The benefits of such collaborative effort will lead to good glucose-metabolic control. It will help patients get motivated and involved in self-care,’’ Ugwu said.