Nigeria: Campaign Beyond Pills and Cure for Diabetes

1 December 2020

Rebecca Ejifoma writes that Mega We Care, a leading pharmaceutical company providing safe and effective medicines in Nigeria and globally, has embarked on a nationwide campaign beyond pills and cure for diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease which is often times an accompanying risk factor for high blood pressure. Complications of diabetes may result in damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves according to research.

Giving statistics, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has it that Nigeria accounts for four million of the 422 million people worldwide that have diabetes. And 1.6 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year.

With such a high prevalence in Nigeria, diabetes - one of the leading causes of death globally - as well as other heart-related disease conditions, exert a tremendous public health burden.

In response to the growing concerns about the surging threat posed by diabetes, WHO and international diabetes federation earmarked the world diabetes day to be celebrated yearly. It is the largest diabetes awareness campaign with a reach spanning over 150 countries across the globe.

Marked every November 14, World Diabetes Day is on the theme, "The Nurse and Diabetes". It aims to highlight the crucial role that nurses, and other health professionals play in supporting people living with diabetes.

Mega We care, a foremost pharmaceutical organisation, is not left out. It is employing education campaigns to ensure Nigerians are well informed on prevention and management under the auspices of her "Good Health by Yourself Initiative (GHBY)".

The pharmaceutical firm is set to champion diabetes' awareness on the basis of numerous research evidences that show the importance of education in improving treatment outcomes in people living with diabetes.

Emphasising on GHBY, the Managing Director of Mega Lifesciences Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Maneesh Mehra, explained the company's driving passion to help people on their journey to healthier lives.

"Good Health By Yourself is an initiative of Mega Lifesciences to empower and inspire our own people and communities to take health into their own hands," he said.

For Mehra, the initiative aims to help people stay healthy as long as they live. "Achieving this goal means partnership with the medical community, and outreaches to the patient community," adds the MD.

Speaking also, the Business Head, Chronic Care Division of Mega Lifesciences, Mr. Amit Singh, harped on their consistent effort in diabetes education, awareness, and screening.

Singh recalled that in the previous years, Mega We Care had planned and executed similar awareness and education programmes in partnership with health professionals at hospitals, pharmacies and religious organisations; giving support with free blood sugar screenings, and neuropathy screenings to patients.

"In 2019 alone, Mega We Care conducted free screenings and education campaigns reaching over 20,000 patients across the country," he highlighted.

But for the COVID-19 pandemic, Mega We Care would have had its physical activities this year. "That is why we are taking the media campaign very seriously to reach 40,000 patients region by region, building up to cover the entire Nigeria," Singh emphasised.

He added that the Diabetic portfolio insisted that Mega We Care has been a very active player in the diabetic market in Nigeria for over ten years.

"We have medicines that address various pain points along the journey of diabetes (from pre diabetes to complications of nerve damage). One of our flagship brands seeks to address the pressing challenge of medication adherence.

According to WHO, Singh cited, poor adherence to medication is threatening to nullify any efforts to tackle chronic conditions such as diabetes.

He outlined, "by its brand, which is generically a preferred first line medication in the management of diabetes, Mega We Care has provided a novel formulation technology known as sustained release technology."

According to the Business Head, "this enables release of the anti-diabetic medicine over a longer period of time in such a way it reduces dosing intervals. This technology we have offered in Nigeria for over 10 years now being amongst the first to make same available in the country."

Moreover, he hinted that Mega We Care has mapped out activities to mark this year's World Diabetes Day in Nigeria, including high powered events with key stakeholders in the health care industry.

He listed the key stakeholders as: Endocrine and metabolic society of Nigeria(EMSON), the Society of Family physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON), the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), and the National association of Nigerian nurses and midwives (NANNM).

In the words of the global CEO and Chief Coach, Mr. Vivek Dhawan, "While we continue the development of our core business, we are also progressing to keep up with the changing environment, to enhance the consumer journey for good health.

"Mega is one of the few companies engaged in human wellness with programs offered to help people stay healthy as long as they live."

With its plans to reach over 40,000 diabetic patients in its campaign, Mega We Care says it is not relenting on this mission to provide quality health and preventive measures.

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