World Diabetes Day: Experts seek action on care | Dailytrust

World Diabetes Day: Experts seek action on care

The National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR), a coalition of non-governmental organizations have called for priority action on diabetes care.

The World Diabetes Day is observed around the world every year on 14 November with this year’s theme being “Access to Diabetes Care”.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly four million Nigerians are living with diabetes, with type 2 diabetes being more common than type 1.

The NASR, a coalition of organizations advocating for policies to combat the impact of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Nigeria, said on Sunday in a statement that this constitutes a public health emergency. A 2020 study links increased type 2 diabetes risk with high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, or soft drinks as they are commonly called.

Recognizing that the Federal Ministry of Health considers non-communicable disease

prevention a national priority, the NASR urged the government to step up efforts towards

implementing a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

The coalition maintains that tax funds can be earmarked for providing healthcare to the country’s low-income groups. For Nigeria’s urban poor, soft drinks are readily accessible, but basic aspects of diabetes care such as insulin and blood sugar monitoring devices remain far out of reach.

Coalition representative Runcie Chidebe, Executive Director of cancer organization Project Pink

Blue, said, “Urgent government action is needed to implement mandatory and effective health policies to reduce the rising non-communicable disease rates, particularly type 2 diabetes, in Nigeria. Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes have been successfully implemented in other countries like South Africa and Mexico. It is time for Nigeria to take this step.0

“We cannot afford to see the detrimental health and economic effects of easy access to sugar-sweetened beverages go unchallenged. Revenue from the proposed tax can be used to fund diabetes care for Nigeria’s poor and vulnerable populations.”

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, recently announced a

proposed pro-health tax increase on soft drinks in Nigeria in the 2022 budget. During the Public

Presentation and Breakdown of the Highlights of the 2022 Appropriation Bill, the minister said

that the government will increase excise “duties on carbonated drinks in the 2021 Finance Act.”

The coalition also recognizes the positive effect this will have on the health of Nigerians.

While commending the Federal Government for this significant step towards protecting the lives of Nigerians, it says much remains to be done.

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