Nigeria is said to have the highest incidence of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa, with about 5 million actual people currently living with the condition, and much more, about 50 percent of the cases, still undetected.
This was disclosed by the Medical Director, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Dr Philip Ikeme, during a pre-event briefing ahead of the diabetes summit coming up on 18th October in Lagos.
Dr Ikeme explained that the disease is a global epidemic which is why people need to go for a regular checkup. “there’s a huge problem about the growing burden of diabetes and there is a push for us to pay more attention to diabetes. The main type is type-2 which tends to affect older people and has a high burden constituting 95 percent of all diabetes, while type-1 constitute about 5 percent. Currently, we have a global burden of 387 million,” he said.
According to him, there is a need for people to pay more attention to this disease because the disease produces other chronic diseases such as stroke, blindness and cardiovascular disease.
“It is the reason behind many cardiovascular diseases. Also, 9 out of 10 amputation at hospitals, except those caused by trauma, is due to diabetes. Most kidney diseases and blindness have been linked to diabetes.
“It’s a silence disease so must people can have it for a long time without knowing until they start presenting with complications. Diabetes is not a disease you can cure but a disease you can treat. Because we don’t exercise regularly, there’s increase in obesity which pushes us to diabetes,” Dr Ikeme explained.
He, however, added that if detected early, when the blood sugar is beginning to go abnormal, there is a possibility of it being cured.
Explaining more about the summit, The General Manager and Country Chairman, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Folake Odediran, said the aim is to provide an educational platform for diabetes care. ” it is also an opportunity to engage the stakeholders to come and listen to the latest trend in managing diabetes, as well as support the community.
The benefit is to improve knowledge of care, we hope that best practice can be shared so that patient outcome can be improved.
Odediran explained that people need to know more about this disease, how to check for symptoms and the fact that they can live a quality life even with diabetes.
In a bit to help solve the growing epidemics of diabetes, the External Affairs Director, Nigeria-Ghana, Dimeji Agbolade, said Sanofi Aventis Nigeria Limited has supported up to 850 doctors and nurses, between 2016 till date.
“We have our professionals going out to train nurses, doctors and others. We also sponsor the healthcare professionals to upgrade their knowledge by sponsoring international and local conferences. We have also partnered with a number of health institutions, in the area of drug safety, we partner with local agencies to ensure that drugs that we market are safe, for instance through the mobile authentication system,” he said.for diabetes care.”