Nigeria @ 60 and The State of The Healthcare in Relation to Type 1 Diabetes

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on October 1, 2020 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Type 1 diabetes also called Juvenile Diabetes is defined by Google as “A chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.”

Celebration Logo for “Nigeria @60”

Type 1 diabetes is basically a disease where insulin-making cells in your pancreas are killed by your immune system. They are called BETA Cells. Mostly the disorder is diagnosed in children and young adults.
Sometimes the symptoms are slight but may mostly become serious. These symptoms include;

  • Extreme thirst
  • Increased hunger (especially after eating)
  • Dry mouth
  • Upset stomach and vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Laboured and heavy breathing
  • Frequent infections of your skin, urinary tract, or vagina
  • Crankiness or mood changes
  • A child who’s been dry at night may start bedwetting.

Emergency signs with respect to type 1 diabetes may include:

  • Shaking and confusion
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fruity smell to your breath
  • Belly pain
  • Loss of consciousness (rare)

The state of healthcare services in Nigeria is really nowhere near satisfactory and to some extent it has become worse due to the Global Pandemic (Covid-19) which resulted from an unknown virus that originated from Wuhan, China and it has in no doubt taken a huge toll on all the economies and territories it has affected. COVID-19, like every other epidemic or pandemic that has ever occurred in history has currently infected millions of people across the globe and has taken so many lives despite many efforts to curtail and curb the wide spread.

The deplorable health hazards are one of the major consequences, which requires urgent and detailed attention.
Majority of African Nation’s Governments has not faced up to the Diabetes epidemic ‘s Devastating potential and time could be running out for Africa.

Diabetes test center in an African country

Akin to HIV / AIDS, Governments by the time they wake up to this ticking time bomb could have already overrun the continent’s low capital, resulting in the preventable deaths of millions of Africans, especially for a country like Nigeria, which is the most Populous nation in Africa and the 7th most populous nation on Earth. In a developing country like Nigeria, the diabetes pandemic grew in association with rapid cultural changes, changes in behaviour, an aging population and rising urbanization without preventative and/or monitored preparedness, throwing up a myriad of diabetes care challenges.

We’d briefly look at two major challenges faced in Nigeria’s healthcare system below;

Challenges of Detection and Diagnosis
The level of ignorance, and poverty in Nigeria result to much of the inability to identify Type 1 diabetes. Other factors like misinformation, the attribution of symptoms to other misconceptions, the lack of equipment and basic medical facilities and insufficient training of health workers are also not left out. That also raise the risk of misdiagnosis and late diagnosis, meaning that at the complication phases of the disease, the vast majority of patients are diagnosed late and the depletion of capital and inadequate government finance restricts access to diabetes care. For identification and diagnosis, access to diabetes care is critical and this is limited in Africa as a whole.

Challenges Posed by The Treatment Cost of Diabetes and it’s Management
Diabetes is a condition that’s costly. Costs arise from the treatment of the disease itself, disease complications and the cost of treating many other conditions where diabetes is a causal factor behind the disease. Type 1 diabetes burden is disproportionately borne by children and young adults. For a case like diabetes, availability of treatment materials ought to go hand in hand with it’s affordability, because even when they’re made readily available, the regularity of supply would majorly be determined by it’s affordability. The Nigerian diabetic subject faces many difficulties in treating diabetes effectively. The lack of frequent access to major anti-diabetic drugs and treatment, especially insulin at affordable rates, is a major challenge for the rest of Africa, leading to underuse or rationing of insulin injection and avoidable metabolic complications.

Nigeria @ 60 and The Way Forward
High diabetes prevalence and high mortality reported in diabetes patients due to late diagnosis and inadequate control result in enormous diabetes management costs in Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the developing world. Such costs are likely to outweigh the cost of successful primary and secondary preventive interventions that can shape the emphasis and future of diabetes treatment.

The basis of most of the type 1 diabetes care problems in Nigeria is caused by less than adequate government participation in diabetes care. Government is the main supporter of health care services to the people through its ministries, departments and agencies. The lack of medical insurance ensures that patients pay for all aspects of medical treatment and therefore causes serious casualties when there is no money. The provision of diabetes services should be incorporated into the overall National health care system and properly financed specialised diabetes care centres would facilitate improved service delivery and fair use of limited resources.
Better diabetes care financing will rely on enhanced overall health care funding through an increased annual government budget / allocation to health and social development. At present, this is at an undesirable figure of less than 10%.

Basically, the organisation of government role in diabetes care should be intentionally worked and improved on, because only then would there be a positively effective change.

This is the only way forward for Diabetes care in Nigeria

Long Live Nigeria and Forward We Go!!

Happy Independence Day! Nigeria 🇳🇬

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