By Ozioruva Aliu
The University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH, in collaboration with pharmaceutical Giants Sanofi has concluded plans to extend free screening in diabetes and other ailments at the University of Bénin Teaching Hospital in partnership using facilities donated by Sanofi Pharmaceuticals.
The screening exercise which started yesterday at the UBTH annex hospital in the ancient Udo community was part of activities to mark World Diabetes Day.
Hundreds and residents in the area including traditional rulers, chiefs, artisans and traders were screened for diabetes, hypertension, skin and eye diseases.
Speaking at the event, Chief Medical Director of UBTH, Dr. Darlington Obaseki, told residents that expert medical personnel have been deployed to the UBTH annex to provide quality health care to them in rural communities using the facilities donated by the company to curb movement of people with diabetes and related ailment from the rural areas to Bénin City.
He stated that the facility at the hospital has been upgraded that 13 babies were born through a caesarian session at the hospital.
General Manager, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Mrs. Folake Odediran, noted that the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes was a major public health concern.
She said; “Diabetes is not only a health problem but also a development challenge. Diabetes forces many people and families into poverty due to catastrophic expenditures on treatment. It also impacts the quality of life and undercut productivity
“In July this year, SANOFI signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with UBTH to implement specific management programs in non-communicable diseases. This includes the implementation of a Diabetes and Hypertension Clinic (DHC) project.
“The DHC project is a social responsibility initiative of SANOFI to help reduce the barriers of access to healthcare by bringing healthcare closer to the people.” The Traditional ruler of Udo, HRH Patrick Igbinudu, commended Sanofi for building diabetes and hypertension clinics in his domain. He said his people suffering from diabetes would no longer travel long distances to get quality care.