As Nigerians battle with the high prevalence of diabetes, there is a need for Nigerians to prioritise early diagnosis and regular monitoring in order to save lives, Oluwatosin Akinsulire, product manager at Roche Diabetes Care Centre, has said.
According to him, the absence of early diagnosis and proper management of Type 2 diabetes can impact the health and overall well-being of Nigerians and can cause significant complications such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
Akinsulire is of the view that Nigerians can significantly mitigate the complications of Type 2 diabetes if they empower themselves with knowledge and monitor their blood glucose meaningfully.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the prevalence of diabetes in Nigeria stands at 4.3 percent, this is primarily attributed to lifestyle changes driven by urbanisation, unhealthy diets, sugary drinks, insufficient physical activity, widespread tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption.
Globally, between 2000 and 2019, diabetes mortality rates increased by 3 percent across different age groups and in lower-middle-income countries, the mortality rate due to diabetes increased to 13 percent.
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The International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas (10th edition) estimates that excluding the mortality risks associated with the covid-19 pandemic, approximately 6.7 million adults between the age of 20–79 have died as a result of diabetes or its complications in 2021.
Commenting on the theme of World Diabetes Day, ‘Empowering Global Health with Early Detection,’ Akinsulire urged Nigerians to get tested early and follow regular self-monitoring so that the proper treatment can help mitigate all these risks.
“Self-monitoring of blood glucose empowers individuals to proactively track their blood glucose, facilitating timely interventions and lifestyle adjustments. Regular monitoring acts as a proactive tool against diabetes,” he said.
Akinsulire said when self-monitoring of blood glucose is done according to standard recommendations, people living with diabetes or those at risk, can gain insights into the impact of their choices, going beyond mere detection to the active maintenance of a healthy and balanced life.
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He pointed out that the Nigerian Minister of State for Health has recognised that increased education and access to diagnostic tools and medicines are paramount in the battle against diabetes, adding that this chronic condition is a significant contributor to blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and lower limb amputations.
He described Roche as a dedicated partner, aligning with global objectives to raise awareness, encourage early diagnosis, and promote standard monitoring practices.
“By emphasising the importance of early detection, regular monitoring and effective treatment, we aim to help people live longer, healthier lives.
“Self-monitoring of blood glucose takes minimal time and can be done at any primary healthcare facility or at home using a blood glucose monitor. Patients can take control of their lives by having one simple test. Together, we can work towards a future where diabetes no longer threatens the well-being of our caregivers, our children, our mothers, our fathers and every Nigerian who contributes to a healthier society,” he said.