No fewer than 5-9 million Nigerians are diabetic, National President of Diabetics Association of Nigeria (DAN), Mohammed Alkali has disclosed.
Alkali said the statistics could grow worse with an attendant serious social, economic and psychological implications on individual, family, society and the nation as over half of the people living with diabetes were still not aware of it.
The DAN President spoke at the Triennial delegate congress and World diabetes Day celebration in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
In his opening speech on day one of the celebration with the theme :”Improving Diabetes Care In Nigeria: Useful Strategies” in Abeokuta, he called for concerted efforts to combat the non – communicable disease.
He advocated for public awareness and massive screening as the main strategies to prevent diabetes and manage it effectively.
According to him, diabetes is responsible for over 105 million deaths annually across the globe, adding that over 425 million people are living with diabetes over the world.
He projected that by 2040, diabetes would have affected 642 million people across the world if necessary steps were not taken.
Alkali advised Nigerians to go for screening, seek medical advise on how to live healthy and protect themselves from any disease, saying if proper health care was maintained, over 50% of diabetics cases would be prevented.
Alkali said: “Diabetics has become a major global epidemic being the leading Non-Communicable disease (NCD) and responsible for over 105 million deaths annually.
“The current number of people living with diabetics is over 425 million and is protected to reach 642 million by 2040 unless urgent steps are taken.
“Although, no reliable National Data is available in Nigeria for the number of people living with Diabetics, it is protected to be between 5-9 million with over half of them not aware of their disease.
“It is not exaggeration to say that almost everyone in Nigeria has a relation or friend that is diabetic and might have lost one. This is only going to be worsen unless concerted efforts are put in place.
” Public awareness and massive screening have been identified as the key strategy to prevent this epidemic from engulfing the world.”