17 October 2017

Nigeria: 5 Million Nigerians Are Diabetic, Expert Says

Photo: Daily Monitor
(file photo).

Over five million Nigerians are currently diagnosed of diabetes, while about 50 per cent of cases are still undiagnosed in the country, the Medical Director, Sanofi Aventis Nigeria Limited, Dr. Philip Ekeme, has revealed.

He said the number of persons affected by the silent killer is unfortunately increasing in the country due to the adoption of certain unhealthy lifestyles by Nigerians.

"The level of eating processed foods in the country is increasing. Sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol intake, smoking, are some of the risk factors associated with diabetes."

Stating this during a press conference to announce its Sanofi Diabetes Summit holding October 18, 2017 in Lagos, the MD said Nigerians need to pay more attention to the chronic disease as its impact on the body could be lethal.

Unlike other types of diabetes, Ikeme said, "the burden of type II diabetes is quite high and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the people living with the disease is about 387 million globally as of 2014. By 2035, that figure will increase to almost 600 million if nothing is done to avert the trend. He said, "Diabetes is not a disease you can cure, but it is a disease you can treat, and if it is treated well, then it means the patient can live as normal as everybody else.

"Years ago, South Africa and Ethiopia had more incidence of diabetes than Nigeria, but with the incidence rate in Nigeria, we now have the highest burden of the scourge in sub-Sahara Africa," he added.

"It is because of this high burden that we are holding a summit aimed at tackling it," said the General Manager, Sanofi Aventis Nigeria Limited, Folake Odediran. Adding that the gathering will provide an educational platform for diabetes management.

Odediran said stakeholders in diabetes management would rub minds together and update themselves on what is new in diabetes care.

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