By Chioma Obinna
To curb the increase in diabetes and ensure adequate management of the condition, medical experts have advocated mandatory blood sugar testing in hospitals, clinics, chemist shops and pharmacies for all patients despite illness.
The experts made the call during the 2021 World Diabetes Day (WDD) awareness campaign organised by ISN Medical at Gbagada General Hospital, Gbagada Lagos.
They agreed that one of the ways to ensure access to diabetes care is that government and private sector stakeholders must ensure compulsory blood sugar testing the same way patients are being screened for blood pressure when they seek the services of health experts.
Speaking, General Manager Diabetes Care Unit ISN Medical, Mrs Ify Chioke said that management of diabetes would be made easier for government and other stakeholders make testing of all patients for blood sugar mandatory.
“We have noticed that 5 to 7 per cent of those we have tested in recent times have come down with diabetes and many of them never knew they have high blood sugar, adding that in most cases as we have experienced in a programme with Access Bank in Enugu, Abuja and Lagos where many recorded over 400 blood sugar reading,” she said.
According to her, ISN Medical has begun to work with the government, hospitals, pharmacies, clinics and laboratories by providing free testing kits to encourage compulsory testing of blood sugar in these health facilities.
“We are working with government and private hospitals and labs to make testing of blood sugar compulsory for every patient that comes in. We also have a programme running with pharmacies such that we provide them with free testing kits to empower them to test every single patient that comes into their facilities.”
The Chief Medical Director of Gbagada General Hospital, Dr. Segun Babafemi who commended ISN Medical for leading the charge in creating awareness on Diabetes said that apart from free testing for blood sugar, he advocates for compulsory testing of blood sugar the same way blood pressure is being carried out in all health facilities across the country.
“I will very much advocate that any adult who comes into your hospital, labs, clinic or pharmacy should undergo a compulsory blood sugar test. We have made it mandatory for every adult to be tested before they are attended to,” he added.
The Director of Physiotherapy Services, Gbagada General Hospital, Mr. Ayo Oni, who took fitness exercise at the event spoke about the importance of physiotherapy in the management of diabetes. “Physiotherapy has a key role to play in the management of diabetes, prevention in terms of maintenance and also curative.
“There are various dimensions of managing diabetes, diet, physical activity such as exercise then the drugs and the importance of consultant can’t be overemphasized,” he said.
He said exercising was key to preventing diabetes and also to manage it because when an individual engages in exercise, it helps blood circulation and keeps organs at the maximum level, eliminating lots of sugar from the system.