ByÂ Sola Ogundipe
Even as the Changing Diabetes Care in Nigeria Summit opens in Lagos today at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, the Diabetes Association of Nigeria is joining voices with the African Diabetes Declaration and Strategies to call on the Federal Governemnt to establish policies that would make management and care of diabetes in the country more affordable and accessible.
In a statement issued ahead of the summit being put together by Novo Nordisk, the global leader in insulin manufacture, DAN president, Dr. Sonny Chinenye observed that Prevention means Intervention Nowâ€ to spare us the overwhelming costs of chronic care later.â€
He said it was high time government at the top ensured availability and affordability of essential medicines for people living with diabetes while immediately and substantially addressing the issue of financing for management of diabetes in Nigeria.
Calling for effective integration of diabetes prevention into the national health system, Chinenye called on government to establish a National diabetes centre in Nigeria as obtainable in other countries. â€œThis centre will design implement and monitor effective prevention and control programmes,â€ he said.
Further, he stated that the Association was preparing a clinical practice Guidelines for management of Diabetes in Nigeria and was ready to facilitate such if approval was given by government toward necessary support for development of a National Policy on Diabetes care to guide the nation in fighting the diseases.
He said such measures will bring simple and cost-effective solutions to the rising epidemic of diabetes in Nigeria and move the nation closer to achieving the UN Millennium development Goals.
The event is expected to be a wake up call for governments to implement effective strategies and policies for the prevention and management of diabetes to safeguard the health of citizens with and at risk of diabetes.