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No response to diabetes, despite warning—NMA

 The Nigerian Medical Association has criticised lack of a national response to halt the rise of diabetes, despite a forewarning by epidemiologists about an epidemic…

 The Nigerian Medical Association has criticised lack of a national response to halt the rise of diabetes, despite a forewarning by epidemiologists about an epidemic of non-communicable diseases.

This comes as doctors begin a weeklong large-scale community screening for diabetes and related ailments and complications in Sokoto on April 24.

In a statement marking World Health Day, NMA said only a flag-off of a nationwide campaign for healthy living and periodic medical checkups in 2013 were available to show for Nigeria’s attempts to control diabetes.

“Diabetes is not just a medical issue but one with a huge multi-sectoral and socioeconomic dimension and severe burden on the health system and national economy, through direct medical expenditures and loss of man hours and wages,” said NMA president Dr Kayode Obembe.

It said more than 1.56 million—around two out every 100 Nigerians—live with the condition and spend up to N53,000 yearly out of their own pockets for treatment.

NMA expressed “indignation that due to inequities in availability, affordability and accessibility of efficient and effective healthcare delivery in our nation, majority of the over 40,000 Nigerians who died from the condition in 2015 could have been saved, not forgetting about 1million country men and women who have the disease but are yet to be diagnosed and treated, and another estimated 3.85 million people with impaired glucose tolerance – a pre-diabetic condition.”

World Health Day this year is themed, “Halt the rise—Beat Diabetes”, in efforts to raise awareness about the rising prevalence of diabetes, its confounding burden and implications, especially in low-and middle-income countries; initiate and scale up a set of specific, effective and affordable activities to tackle the scourge of diabetes including steps to prevent diabetes and diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes, according to Obembe.

 

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