Physicians from Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Lions Clubs International on Thursday organised a Diabetes treatment outreach for residents Ikeja at Ipodo market, Lagos State.
The outreach was in commemoration of the 2019 World Diabetes Day (WDD).
World Diabetes Day is celebrated annually on Nov. 14 globally to draw attention to issues of importance to the diabetes world and keep diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.
Dr Jimi Sodipo, LASUTH Consultant and Family Physician, said that the outreach was in response to growing concerns about the increasing number of people with diabetes.
Sodipo said that the outreach would screen for diabetes, hypertension and obesity, with the hope of identifying those with diabetes to place them on medication and referral to the hospital for further treatments.
According to him, the prevalence of diabetes cases is attributed to overweight, obesity, smoking, alcohol, unhealthy eating and sedentary lifestyles.
“Eighty per cent of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through lifestyle modifications like trying to lose some weight, engaging in more physical activities and watching our diets,” he said.
The physician said that WDD theme for this year centred around family collaborating to prevent, manage and reduce diabetes together by eating healthy, exercising and discourage alcohol and tobacco use.
He urged government to ensure effectiveness of the health insurance scheme to enable patients have access to medication and treatment.
According to him, out-of-pocket spending by many patients put a strain on their finances, thus discouraging them from treatment.
Sodipo also urged government to ensure that the country achieved food security that would make healthy foods affordable as high cost of food made many people go for the cheaper alternatives which were mostly unhealthy.
Also, Dr Olufunmilayo Adeleye, Consultant Physician Endocrinologist, LASUTH, advised that consumption of high calories, sugary, processed and fast food should be reduced to prevent diabetes.
Adeleye said that switching to a plant-based diet drastically reduced and even reversed most health issues, especially diabetes.
She also advised parents to encourage children to engage in outdoor activities like football, skipping and running; instead of sitting watching television and playing games for hours to reduce their predisposition to being overweight and obese.
The endocrinologist said that the increase in childhood obesity and physical inactivity was attributed to the rise in type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents, adding that healthy eating and lifestyle habits were strong defence against the disease.
Adeleye commended the Lions Clubs for its intervention in reducing the prevalence of diabetes in the country, adding that the club pioneered the Diabetes Clinic used by LASUTH.
Wesley Kafidiya, District Governor 404 B-2 Nigeria, Lions Clubs International, said that the club’s mission for diabetes was to reduce the prevalence of diabetes and improve the quality of life for those diagnosed.
He said that the club was on a mission to make its mark by screening one million people for type 2 diabetes and also assist with treatment.
Kafidiya said that the club was conducting the screening and treatment in five states, and had trained health workers of some Primary Healthcare Centres on the best practices to treat and manage diabetes cases.
Prince Adekunle Apena, Regent to the Olu of Ikeja, lauded LASUTH and Lions Clubs for its intervention in sensitising, preventing and managing diabetes cases, saying traders’ response to the outreach would be positive because of the free medication.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says over 420 million people live with diabetes, and it is the seventh leading cause of death globally, and a major cause of costly and debilitating complications.
WHO listed the complications to include: heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and lower limb amputations.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), an estimated 1.7 million people had diabetes in Nigeria in 2015.
The theme for the 2019 World Diabetes Day is ‘The Family and Diabetes’, with the objective to raise global awareness of its impact on families and to highlight their role in prevention, care, and education of diabetes.