Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) in Nigeria: Rare or not obvious?

Hope

Type 1 diabetes is a type of Diabetes Mellitus characterized by loss of the insulin-producing beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, leading to insulin deficiency, it can affect children or adults, but was traditionally termed “juvenile diabetes” because a majority of these diabetes cases were in children.

The true burden of T1DM is not really known, but a difference in the pattern and outcome of T1DM in Nigeria compared to other developed countries seems to be present.

Most DM screening data available is not population-based and is of limited value for making generalizations about Diabetes in the Nigerian Children.

According to Dr. Mrs Fetuga,Consultant Pediatric Endocrinologist at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital in South-West Nigeria who researched into the prevalence of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus cases at her center, only about 8 cases of T1DM have been seen with most presenting with Diabetic Ketoacidosis (a potentially life-threatening complication in people with diabetes, it happens predominantly in those with type 1 diabetes, but can occur in those with type 2 diabetes under certain circumstances. DKA results from a shortage of insulin; in response to which the body switches to burning fatty acids and producing acidic ketone bodies that cause most of the symptoms and complications).

We wondered if T1DM is actually rare in Nigeria or our pattern of screening that excludes children vis a vis poor awareness of DM & its types among natives are responsible for the low data on T1DM.

She also raised concerns about poor knowledge and awareness of T1DM among mothers making it difficult for them to even explain what is wrong with the child when symptoms are demonstrated (loss of weight,frequent urination,increased thirst and increased hunger)these symptoms may develop rapidly (weeks or months) in type 1 diabetes.

Most parents also default follow-up after treatment with a high level of non-compliance to insulin use..

The International Diabetes Federation “Life for a Child” Programme was established in 2001 with support from the Australian Diabetes Council and HOPE worldwide and is an innovative and sustainable support programme in which individuals, families and organisations contribute monetary or in-kind donations to help children with diabetes in developing countries.

Here’s a call to HCP, Advocates, PWD to clamor for a more active community research into the epidemiology of T1DM in nigeria, passionate awareness, care and proper advocacy.

We at @theNGdoc are resolved towards committed advocacy for T1DM as well as the other types of DM and would appreciate any information on any child diagnosed of T1DM.

We are currently partnering with Elizabeth of T1international and the endocrinology unit of the pediatric department of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching hospital towards creating adequate grass-root awareness and proper care for T1DM children in Nigeria.

With these collaborative efforts we hope towards promoting grass root awareness for T1DM in Nigeria and adequate care for those with it.
To reach us please follow us on twitter @theNGdoc or send us an email thengdoc@gmail.com

Lets Keep the Hope Alive.

Image Credit: everynigerianchild

One thought on “Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) in Nigeria: Rare or not obvious?”

  1. To solve the question “Does it matter what I eat,” yes, it really does matter what you eat, and of course , if you were eating only junk foods, there would be a reason to worry mainly because the quality of food you eat matters to your overall health. However, it sounds like you eat healthy foods. You just choose as well as to have some treats inside your calorie limits, and if that’s helping you, I don’t see any reason to change it.

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