By: Ike Philip Abiagom
Over 10m Nigerians have diabetes, kills more than COVID-19, cancer. As Nigerians join the rest of the world to observe this year World Diabetes Day (WDD), The Light Diabetes Organisation has warned that over 10 million Nigerians are living with the disease presently.
As the World Diabetes Day is marked globally by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on November 14 every year, experts are worried that no fewer than six million Nigerians – one in ten adults – are living with diabetes, even as the numbers are expected to double by 2030, with the nation facing a situation akin to a “ticking time bomb.”
The theme of this year’s celebration – “Access to Diabetes Care,” is aimed at raising awareness around the fact that millions of people living with diabetes around the world do not have access to diabetes care. Diabetic patients require ongoing care and support to manage their condition and avoid complications. Nine in 10 of diabetics have the Type 2 variant, a lifestyle disease linked to obesity and unhealthy living. The Type 1 variant is an unpreventable autoimmune disease that develops at childhood. As part of activities to mark the 2022 World Diabetes Day (WDD), The Light Diabetes Organisation, a private organisation with a focus on the management of diabetes and other endocrine and metabolism conditions, gave free diabetes screening and education for the public.
The theme for diabetes awareness month and World Diabetes Day 2022 is “Access to Diabetes Care,” which The Light Diabetes Organisation says remains its core activity in its efforts to provide quality care for Nigerians living with diabetes while also creating awareness of its growing increase in the country.
“We are, therefore, encouraging everyone including people living with diabetes and their family members to seize the opportunity of this exercise to know their status and how to care for people living with the condition.
“It’s also an opportunity for people to know their status, especially given findings that 1 out of every 2 persons living with diabetes do not know they have it. Yet, early detection of diabetes remains crucial in the prevention of deadly complications,” the statement read in parts.
It further noted that persons with uncontrolled diabetes would develop a wide range of complications linked with the disease, some of which could lead to lengthy hospital stays, blindness, foot amputation or death.
According to The Light Diabetes Organisation, they want people living with diabetes to know that it can be controlled and should not be allowed to result in the numerous complications associated with it.
“The exercise serve as an avenue for them to have their feet checked to prevent the growing problem of diabetes. Not only that, it also provide access to basic information on how to live with the condition and stay healthy all year round”, the statement further said.