Misconception, unhealthy lifestyle bane of diabetes care in Nigeria
By Chioma Obinna & Gabriel Olawole
AS Nigerians joined the rest of the World to mark this year’s World Diabetes Day, Stakeholders have blamed the increasing burden of diabetes in the country on misconceptions about who is at risk and unhealthy lifestyles.
With over six million Nigerians living with Diabetes, the stakeholders are of the view that Nigerians should take a step further to take responsibility for their health by ensuring regular blood sugar checks.
Speaking at a symposium organised by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR in collaboration with Diabetes Association of Nigeria, DAN, Lagos State Chapter, the Director General of the Agency, Prof. Innocent Ujah emphasised the need to focus on educating Nigerians on how to prevent the causes of disease conditions like diabetes with a view to protecting the future.
Ujah who regretted that Diabetes Mellitus was no longer an adult problem as its now found even in children reiterated the need for massive awareness on various steps to preventing it.
Lamenting the destructive nature of the disease, he said: More worrisome aspect is the fact that diabetes reduces quality and quantity of life.”
On his part, a Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Dr. Ogbera Anthonia disclosed that for now, there is no cure for diabetes but it can only be control through early intervention.
Anthonia dismissed the general misconception that only fat people alone suffer from the diseases saying, “it is no more working because slim people are also coming down with diabetes.”
Blaming the increasing prevalence of diabetes on lifestyle, Ogbera employed Nigerians to monitor their glucose and engage in exercise, at least 20-30 minutes walking twice a week.
Speaking, the National Co-ordinator, Non- Communicable Disease, Dr. Anthony Usoro urged Nigerians to pay proper attention to their lifestyles and avoid self medication.
His word: “Nigerians should begin to pay more attention to their lifestyle and the kind of medications they take. People should reduce of excess consumption of refined sugar and carbohydrate. Over eating is not good, obesity is not good, overweight is not good, avoid this through increasing physical activities and taking balance diet at reasonable quantity.”
Usoro further recommended routine medical check up every six month, adding that disease like diabetes could be nip in the bud as this would also facilitate early intervention.