As Nigeria celebrates the World Diabetes Day, WDD, statistics reveal that estimated 5million Nigerian adults are currently suffering from diabetes, with less than 50 per cent of these patients being aware of their condition.
The minister of state for health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, made this known yesterday in Abuja at a ministerial press briefing to celebrate the day in Nigeria.
According to the minister, represented by the director of public health, Dr. Bridget Okoeguale, the 2015 WDD celebration gives Nigeria the opportunity for diabetes advocacy and awareness creation, especially among the rural communities where awareness is very low.
He said that the Type-2 diabetes which constitutes about 96% of the common cases was common in Nigeria and in most parts of the world, adding that it could be prevented and controlled by avoiding risky behaviours and unhealthy lifestyle.
“Diabetes is a major non-communicable disease that affects the highly productive population,” adding that it was expensive to manage, aggravates poverty and social inequalities and thereby contribute to the socio-economic burden of the country,” Ehanire said.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, the global burden of the disease was estimated at 382 million with a projected figure of 592 million by 2035, and 80% of this increase was expected to occur in low and middle income countries including Nigeria.
The minister said government had to launch the “Stop Diabetes Initiative Nigeria’’ as part of the activities to mark the day, due to the increasing burden caused by diabetes.
“This initiative creates a platform for active involvement of stakeholders from different sectors to support the implementation of the national strategy for the prevention and control of diabetes in Nigeria, which is in line with the World Health Organisation Global Action Plan for the prevention and control of diabetes 2013-2020.’’
According to Professor Felicia Anumah, Consultant Endocrinologist at University of Abuja Specialist Hospital, it is necessary for people to go for check-ups because millions are at the risk of diabetes and need to be empowered to prevent having the disease, as it is a life-long condition.
The WDD is usually cerebrated on November 14 every year. The theme for 2014 – 2016 is “Healthy Living and Diabetes.”

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