As cost of diabetes management exceeds national minimum wage
By Sola Ogundipe
The Federal Government has been called upon to look for local solutions aimed at alleviating the plight of Nigerians living with diabetes.
The Diabetes Control Media Advocacy Group, DICOMAG, which made the call in a World Diabetes Day 2020 Epilogue statement, warned of a looming diabetes epidemic even as it regretted the high cost of diabetes management which has gone beyond the national minimum wage.
In the statement, jointly signed by the organisation’s Board Chairman, Dr. Afoke Isiavwe, and the Director of Communication, Mrs Yinka Shokunbi, DICOMAG called on the government to act fast to create an enabling environment for local production of diabetes medications and supplies, to address the current astronomical cost of diabetes drugs and monitoring devices, which have gone beyond the reach of many Nigerians living with the condition, if the country is to avoid a looming diabetes epidemic.
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“Unfortunately, while neighbouring countries like Cameroun now provide insulin free of charge to children and other countries have adopted policies to assist citizens to achieve control of the condition, Nigeria seems to have left people living with diabetes to their fate and without any measure to ensure early detection of cases or inform the people on preventive measures,” the statement noted.
“DICOMAG, therefore, calls on the government, Nigerian Pharmaceutical industry, and Entrepreneurs to address this huge void of local production of diabetes medications and supplies as another WDD has been celebrated. We must go beyond flowery speeches and programs this year and take steps to initiate practical measures to control the upsurge of diabetes and also, improve access to affordable health care for Nigerians living with diabetes to achieve good control through access to affordable medicines and monitoring devices.
According to the statement: “Another period of the year when the world focuses attention on diabetes has passed. A disease that affects about 425 million adults and 1.1 million children worldwide including more than five million Nigerian adults, every year, diabetes reportedly kills about four million people worldwide and is associated with serious consequences such as stroke, blindness, limb amputation, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease.
“With The theme: “The Nurse and Diabetes,” this year’s edition of the WDD is, apt as it aims to raise awareness around the crucial role that nurses play in supporting people living with diabetes. Indeed, with the increasing number of people with diabetes worldwide, the role of nurses and other health professionals support staff becomes increasingly important in managing the impact of the condition. DICOMAG, therefore, aligns itself with this noble goal of the theme and hereby calls on all Nigerians to be actively involved in commemorating the event.
“No doubt, the theme should further draw attention to the plight of Nigerians living with diabetes. Many are currently facing a very hard time as the cost of drugs and monitoring devices have skyrocketed and gone beyond their reach. The average cost of monthly diabetes management in the country is now far higher than the nation’s average minimum wage.
“The situation has been particularly tough for them as the emergence of COVID-19 further reduced their access to care. Not only have that, the World Health Organization, WHO revealed that diabetes increased the risk of severe illness and death among patients infected with the COVID-19 virus. WHO study indeed showed that 18.3 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the African region are among people with diabetes.”
Further, the statement informed that diabetes remains one of the largest global health emergencies of the 21st century, largely because of its severe and deadly consequences.
“This is a disease that affects virtually all organs of the body, resulting in loss of vision, dental the problem, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, lower limb amputation, sexual dysfunction, among others, when not properly controlled – sadly a situation faced by Nigerians living with diabetes today.”
Vanguard News Nigeria
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