5 million People Die of Diabetes annually – expert

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By Sule Aliyu, Bauchi

Diabetes has been described as one of the most deadly diseases in the world that claim lives frequently more than other epidemics like the Human Immune Deficiency Virus [HIV], Malaria, Tuberculosis etc as about five million patients in the world die of the disease.

A guest speaker at the National Diabetes Workshop organized by the Diabetes Association of Nigeria [DAN] in collaboration with the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation [OOF] as part of events marking this year’s World Diabetes Day Professor Bakari Adamu Girei disclosed this yesterday during the opening ceremony of the program held at Nicon Luxury Hotels, Abuja.

Girei who lamented that diabetes in Nigeria was an unrecognized national epidemic despite the increase in its prevalence said poor control of the disease could lead to acute complication, eye complication, foot amputation, kidney disease, heart attack and stroke among other problems.

According to him, diabetes is categorized into four types 1, 2, 3 and 4 that affect children, adults, pregnant women and the one which is being caused by other diseases respectively pointing out that there was no better treatment for the disease than frequent taking of medication according to prescription and eating the right foods.

He however decried the use of herbal remedies by some diabetics claiming that many of such medicines have not undergone careful scientific assessment.

Earlier in his address, the National President of the Diabetes Association of Nigeria Dr Mohammed Alkali who doubles as the Chief Medical Director of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi said diabetes has assumed a global epidemic position and was the major non communicable disease that constituted health challenge especially in developing countries like Nigeria, ‘hence the need for the federal government to give priority attention to the disease control with a view to stopping the increase in its prevalence’.

“There were about 415 million people living with diabetes which is projected to reach 642 million by 2040. More than 14 million people in the sub-Saharan Africa had diabetes in 2015 and are projected to double by 2040’’. He noted.

According to him, the World Diabetes Day ‘serves as the primary global awareness campaign of the disease adding that the association had designed series of activities to celebrate the day in Nigeria such as workshop for selected members drawn from all the 36 states of the federation, road walk and free diabetes screening for Abuja residents on 14th November 2017.