Category Archives: News

POLITICS OF DIABETES IN NIGERIA

The recent series of tweets by the USA senator and presidential aspirant, Senator Bernie Sanders, ‘attacking’ insulin makers, that followed a letter sent by him and his counterpart in the House of Representatives to the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission on the need for investigating insulin makers for price collusion was a result of his identification with diabetes (which runs in his family) especially during his campaign for Democrats nomination.

Bernie is not the only USA politician advocating on behalf of the People Living with Diabetes (PWD) , Senator Jenne Shaheen who is the leader of the US Senate Diabetes Caucus was quoted to be committed to ensuring that diabetes is a ” priority for legislation no matter what happens in the election” of 2012.  Her commitment could also be linked to her identification with her diabetic granddaughter.

Moreover, the revelation by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, on her Type 1 diabetes status in addition to the functional relationship between the UK Parliament and several diabetes groups in the UK points to the fact that fight for the people with diabetes is a major cause for UK politicians. The act of identifying with diabetes and other non communicable diseases by politicians is a common trend across the developed countries, and this has propelled them to advocating, legislating and making policies for the education, prevention, diagnosing and management of diabetes mellitus in their respective countries.

One of the tweets by Bernie Sanders on his twitter handle @sensanders reads “in the richest nation in the world diabetes patients are being forced to decide between eating and paying for the drugs they need”.

I was prompted to respond by comparing the condition of the people with diabetes (PWD) in poor and unstable nations with those in rich countries that are being sympathised with.

Also, my reaction to the letter by Bernie and his colleague on insulin price is by asking for who are to be the defenders for the “weak and helpless” people living with type 1 diabetes (PWT1D) in poor countries like Nigeria.

My last response was inspired by the attitude of politicians across Africa especially Nigeria where disclosure of true health status of politicians seems abominable whether they are being affected by common diseases or not.

Their practice is to embark on medical tourism to developed countries for treatment and management of such diseases secretly  while people only engage in speculation about their health status . For instance, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was forced to disclose his battle with diabetes over several number of years by his need to get votes for his successor who later died in government due to a then undisclosed ailment. This was at the tail end of his (Obasanjo) eight year tenure.

The failure of Nigerian politicians to identify with non-communicable diseases especially diabetes, by which many of them are believed to be affected, and their ability to travel abroad for treatment make them not to have any inspiration or encouragement to make any specific serious legislation, policy or advocacy that is needed to support the common people on the care and management of diabetes, as many are being afflicted and killed by the disease due to their helplessness.

This is evident in the absence of any specific health policy or program on diabetes, lack of appropriate medical facilities for diagnosis and care, inadequate funding for non-communicable diseases, shortage of diabetes specialists and caregivers, inadequate education on prevention and management of diabetes, absence of any parliamentary resolution on diabetes and absence of any regulation on access to and price of diabetic drugs, (especially insulin) among others.

However, according to International Diabetes Federation (IDF), as at year 2015 out of 415 million people living with diabetes in the world, 75 percent are in the poor and middle income countries with Sub-Sahara Africa accounting for 14.2 million . It is shown that prevalence rate of diabetes in Nigeria is 1.9 percent for adults and 3 out of 100,000 children while around 949, 900 persons are undiagnosed. Among 5 million people that die due to diabetes annually across the world Nigeria accounts for more than 40,000. Relatively, Nigeria leads in the number of incidence of and mortality rate from the disease in Africa.

Meanwhile, the current economic condition, a result of economic recession, in the country is making self management of diabetes unaffordable for the people living with diabetes.

The reliance on importation of all the much needed diabetic supplies,  continuous fall in the exchange rate of Naira to foreign currencies, galloping inflation and dwindling real income have all contributed to unaffordability and inaccessibility of the supplies most especially insulin.

The price of each of the items has skyrocketed to about 150 percent increase within a short period of eight months. Choosing myself as a typical sample of an average  person living with diabetes in the country , my monthly costs of supplies currently within Lagos metropolis could be broken down as follows :

Insulin ( Mixtard of 100 IU)              N5500 per vial

Syringes                                                       N2500 per pack of 100 units

Glucometer (Accu-chek Active)    N8000

Meter test strips                                    N4600 per pack

Diabetic multivitamin                        N3400

All these prices are only obtainable within Lagos which is the major commercial city in the country, but in other cities and towns most of the supplies are either much more costlier or not totally available. Meanwhile , my monthly income stands at around N25000 out of which I spend around N16000 on the supplies (64 percent) . The cost of transportation and other implicit costs are yet to be included.

Despite all the available statistics on diabetes, though actually underestimated because of absence of credible medical data gathering in the country, and the plight of the people living with diabetes in managing the condition there is no any serious political will on the part of policy makers, and in spite of signing up with Global Action on Non-communicable diseases, to help the people with diabetes out of the challenges being faced in the need to lead fulfilled lives, and reduce the level prevalence of the disease.

Nigeria is only chosen in this article as a reflective sample for all the poor and politically unstable countries of the world, which means that the conditions of the people living with diabetes in these countries, especially in Africa, need urgent and serious actions on the part of their politicians on supports for adequate management as well as on the need for measures for prevention to reduce the rate of prevalence.

So, the question still remains as who will fight for the ‘weak and helpless’ people living with diabetes in the poor countries?

Olafimihan Nasiru Titilope is living with diabetes can be reached on nasoola77@yahoo.com

 

The article posted is strictly the responsibility of the author. NGdoc  will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. This article is featured on an as-is basis.

TYPE[1]WRITER TO FACILITATE INSULIN ACCESS TO NIGERIAN CWDS

This was the start of a beautiful friendship and the creation of our diabetes project. Back in 2013 I had the pleasure of meeting Adejumo Hakeem from Nigeria.

We’d been in constant communication prior to the International Diabetes Federation Conference in Melbourne as I’d managed to win their essay competition, ‘Diabetes in Nigeria: Protecting the Future’.

I even went on to write my masters on ‘The Relationship Between Urbanisation and Type 2 Diabetes: a human rights-based approach to health in Nigeria’. So here we were, online friends from New Zealand and Nigeria, finally able to cross the ocean and meet in person.

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It’s been 6 months since the book was launched and the sales are still doing great. The profits from my book go directly to Adejumo at NGdoc to aid children with type 1 diabetes in Nigeria who do not have access to the supplies they need to survive. There are already stories of young children who we, and our consumers, have supported. If you have bought a book – YOU helped a child!

Our very first child was enough to spur us on, the fact that we’d made a difference in someone’s life is very humbling. Oluwatimileyin Daniel was 14 years old and in a state of diabetes ketoacidosis in hospital as his family had no money to buy insulin. Through our partnership we were able to pay for both the insulin and glucometer test strips he needed. He was lucky, many are not.

If you want to help us make a difference you can buy the book, or the cheaper e-book version on Amazon. If your child has type 1 diabetes they will hopefully love the book and be saving another child at the same time

Culled from type1writerblog 

Carrie Hetherington can be contacted here

FDA APPROVES ARTIFICIAL PANCREASE SYSTEM.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the FDA approved the first hybrid insulin delivery system on the 28th of September, 2016. 

This critical step, according to the ADA website in the development of an artificial pancreas is an important milestone for people with type 1 diabetes.

The MiniMed 670G is the first pump-sensor system to automatically adjust basal insulin levels, up or down, based on continuous glucose readings from an integrated continuous glucose monitor.

Patients will continue to make insulin dosing decisions at mealtime, with the MiniMed 670G providing dose recommendations based on the patient’s blood glucose levels and trends.

Patients will also need to perform finger-stick glucose checks for calibration of the device. 

The system is appropriate for anyone who is currently using or is a good candidate for an insulin pump. 

The FDA has approved the MiniMed 670G for people age 14 and older.

We are excited for this advancement, and we look forward to the development of the next phase of automated systems that can provide bolus doses of insulin. We envision that these incremental innovations will lead to a fully automated closed-loop system to provide optimal glucose control and independence for people with diabetes.

HOW DOES A CONTINUOS GLUCOSE MONITOR (CGM) WORK

CGM is a way to measure glucose levels in real-time throughout the day and night. 

A tiny electrode called a glucose sensor is inserted under the skin to measure glucose levels in tissue fluid. 

It is connected to a transmitter that sends the information via wireless radio frequency to a monitoring and display device. The device can detect and notify you if your glucose is reaching a high or low limit.

To engage with the Diabetes Online Community follow The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on Facebook NGDOC and on Twitter @theNGdoc

– See more at: http://www.diabetes.org/newsroom/press-releases/2016/american-diabetes-association-FDA-approval-first-hybrid.html?referrer=https://t.co/VkIIhiSJFd#sthash.qkMPxHBk.dpuf

Raising a child living with diabetes in Africa: Challenges and Motivations

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On May 27th The Nigeria Diabetes online Community conducted it’s monthly chat dedicated to children living with diabetes in Africa.

The chat that coincides with Children’s day in Nigeria drew participants from Nigeria, UK, South Africa and Ghana.

The children’s day chat reflects the reality that faces us as a nation and africa as a continent on the need for a vibrant healthcare sector to combat the scourge of diabetes.

All our participants have wards living with diabetes (we encourage parents and guardians to get their wards involved in social peer support chats online).

Most wards view living with diabetes as a burden (stressful,frustrating, depressive and expensive – in the words of pearl who has young relatives living with diabetes) with a few having a good insight of the condition.

Large percentage of our wards living with diabetes seemingly initially have a feeling of being the only ones with such condition in the world.
(A typical reflection of poor awareness of other children living with diabetes)

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Living with diabetes for children has been noticed to be emotionally challenging and it’s been suggested by experience that more interaction and peer support works in Ghana with listening ears producing better results  than criticisms.

Parents and guardians have been advised to stay involved in their children’s care even if such wards is able to manage his/her diabetes.

At this point parents should be aware of that their support, respect and love for each other has a direct impact on their child’s metabolism (a good thesis for research)

It was also noted that there’s a constant battle of emotions as the children hit their teens with their tendencies to want to fit in like their friends.

In cases when their emotions are really all over the place, a constant show of love, mentoring and continuous education about diabetes has been noted to be very helpful.

It was unanimously agreed by all participants that interacting with other children living with diabetes worldwide is very helpful with NGO’s and government being actively involved in ensuring living with diabetes for our children doesn’t end up as a death sentence.

We graciously call on the minister of health in all african countries to emulate the South Africa government who is said to provide free medications to include insulin and glucose strips.

The international diabetes federation life for a child has been commended for their active support in resource poor settings where insulin, glucometers and teststrips are provided for free.

We also call on governments to ensure these supplies gets to the children import tax free.

Wouldn’t it be great to see life saving medications donated for free exempted from import tax which could be enormous?

We wish to thank all our participants for their contributions and commitments to ensuring an healthy life with diabetes is achievable by our children.

Do you have or know any child living with diabetes?
Kindly get through to us on our platforms and we will be glad to connect.
thengdoc@gmail.com
Facebook: NGDOC
Twitter: @thengdoc

NGdoc partners with Sola Giwa Initiative on Community Health Screening in Lagos State

NGdoc will be partnering with Sola Giwa Initiative on a 4day public health screening.

This gesture according to Sola Giwa is part of his commitments at ensuring the deliverance of democracy.

The public health screening will strictly be on diabetes and high blood pressure issues which will afford participants to be aware of its symptoms, damages and preventions to avert any health havoc.

Importantly, this program aims to improve health awareness as well as overall wellbeing of the people in his constituency through a 4-day public enlightenment and screening in 4 different locations.

Its intended target audience daily is between 500 making it 2,000 ground total target audience.

The event has been scheduled to hold at the four different venues as follows:

Day1
23/03/2016
Anikantamo Multi-purpose Hall
10am – 3pm

Day2
24/03/2016
Campus mini stadium
10am – 3pm

Day3
25/03/2016
Lafiaji community centre
10am – 3pm

Day4
26/03/2016
Eleganza sport centre
10am – 3pm

Interested in volunteering? Please send an email to ibironke_odewale@yahoo.ca

Why Africa needs the Global DOC

It is with a heavy heart that I share the tragic story of a promising young boy with type 1 diabetes.

I met Durojaiye Bola through the Pediatric Endocrinologist of The Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) a year ago. This meeting coincided with our peer support program for children living with diabetes at the same institution where we met online with Jack Terschluse of Penpals United.

Although Durojaiye was diagnosed with Type1 diabetes his family was without the means to support the expense of his treatment and medication. He was on our list for support, next in line to Omolade who, thanks to T1International through its diabetes warrior initiative underwent a vocational training to help her pay for her insulin needs and later a partner NGO called Priceless Jewel, now supports with her insulin and university education from a kind philanthropist.

If only we had been able to support Durojaiye sooner. Last Friday I followed a friend to the ER of the teaching hospital and found him with burn scars on all of his limbs.

Apparently Durojaiye had fallen into an hypoglycemic coma at a religious center. In a bid to bring him back to life, his digits were burnt badly in fire by the religious members. This shock reminded me of the huge importance of educating religious leaders on diabetes. The NGdoc submitted a project proposal 2 years ago to a foundation for support of such an education initiative but unfortunately we never got the funding.

Right now Durojaiye has been referred to a plastic surgeon in a bigger hospital with the possibility of amputation. With tears on their eyes his parents told me categorically that they cannot afford it. They said that sending him to another hosptial will be like a death sentence.

A team was constituted by NGdoc with initial finances being given by the association. The team also has support from T1international.

The aim of the team is to ensure:

1) Optimal care for Durojaiye, including psychotherapy and rehabilitation

2) Financial support to cater for a substantial part of his bills

3) A strategy to prevent such occurrences from happening again

4) An advocacy plan to ensure liable children with diabetes have access to insulin and other essential consumables.

The team is comprised of:

Adejumo Olamide – NGdoc/Access Alliance

Elizabeth Rowley – T1International/Access Alliance

Odewale Ibironke – NGdoc

Dr Adekoya Adesola – Pediatric Endocrinologist/NGdoc Social peer support for CWD in OOUTH coordinator

Dr Ajose Femi – Surgery

Dr Safiriyu Isreal – Medicine (Endocrinology)

Adesanya Adebukonla – Medical Student

This is a clarion call to the Global DOC. There must be more focus on Africa. How many young boys and girls in Africa must go through the same traumatic experience before our community takes action?

We need to address poverty, lack of access and lack of diabtetes education. We must support community based organizations centered around caring for people with diabetes, encourage social peer support and help make the lives of children living with diabetes a meaningful one.

Interested in supporting? Click here

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Interested in supporting? Click here

‘We are the world’ in World Diabetes Day

Last year the whole world ‘Put the World Back’ in World Diabetes Day when #insulin4all was launched.

This year The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community is proud to be a member of the Access Alliance and the global force standing together to push for access to diabetes supplies, care, and treatment for all.

Together as Nigerians ‘We are the World’ in World Diabetes Day.

We support #insulin4all because we believe no Nigerian child living with diabetes should die as a result of lack of insulin – a life saving medication.

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NGdoc volunteer – Dr Olamide Ajayi and brother showing their support for #insulin4all

To learn more about the campaign visit here

Credit: T1International

DIABETES WARRIOR INITIATIVE

The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community is excited to partner with T1International on its Diabetes Warrior initiative.

The Type 1 International setup the Diabetes warrior initiative with the aim of training Nigerian children living with type 1 diabetes on vocational skills towards self sufficiency and ability to afford their medicines.

A warrior is defined as ‘a brave or experienced solder or fighter’. It is believed that those who are sponsored for vocational programs are experience fighters of diabetes and are prepared to put in the work it takes to not let diabetes dominate their life.

Our pioneer diabetes warrior is Omolade Onafowokan who is currently undergoing her part time weekend only vocational skills training in  Ogun State, Nigeria.

Her demonstration of great awareness and acceptance for living with type 1 Diabetes is highly impressive. She has accepted her living  with diabetes and hopes to further her studies after the holidays into the University where she aspires to study medicine.

In her own words having expressed a profound thanks to T1International for the kind gesture, wants to start a network of children living with diabetes where they can learn from one another and form a social peer support club.

We believe that through this skill acquisition she might be able to generate some funds to ensure a steady supply of her essential medicine – Insulin.

Visit  here to support T1International’s effort aimed at helping children living with diabetes in Africa.

New study links antibiotic use to increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes

According to a new study published August 27, 2015 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism by Kristian Hallundback Mikkelsen, MD, a PhD student at the Center for Diabetes Research, Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen (Hellerup, Denmark) and colleagues;  there are suggestions of a clear link between Type 2 diabetes mellitus and the number of times a patient has been prescribed antibiotics.

Data from three national Danish registries revealed that prior exposure to antibiotics was associated with a 53% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (170,404 patients with Type 2 diabetes and 1.3 million who did not have the disease).

The finding could mean that antibiotics play a direct causal role in type 2 diabetes or that people with as-yet-undiagnosed diabetes may have a greater risk for infection and therefore are more likely to use antibiotics.

“Both interpretations are supported by the literature and could contribute to the observed associations,” Dr Mikkelsen told Medscape Medical News.

They found the risk of getting diabetes was highest in those given antibiotics that are effective against a narrow range of bacteria.

Study author Dr Kristian Mikkelsen said: “In our research we found people who have Type 2 diabetes used significantly more antibiotics up to 15 years prior to diagnosis compared to healthy controls.”

Dr Mikkelsen, of Gentofte Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark, also said more research was needed because the findings did not prove that the drugs trigger diabetes.

Antibiotics, the main way of treating infections for more than 60 years, can alter the bugs living in the gut.
Some of these bugs may contribute to the impaired ability of people living with diabetes to metabolise sugar.

But an alternative explanation could be that people with undiagnosed diabetes may be more prone to infection and therefore use more antibiotics.

Clinically, the findings add a new argument to the current movement toward less frequent and more judicious use of antibiotics.

“Microbiologists frequently remind clinicians not to overuse antibiotics because of the growing resistance problems and inadequate development of new antibiotics. If it appears that antibiotics also have long-term and potentially negative metabolic adverse effects, it of course puts additional weight behind a strict policy for antibiotics prescribing and selling,” he noted.

Sources: Daily Express UK; Medscape News.

MEET INSPIRING PEOPLE LIVING WITH DIABETES

Living with Diabetes in Africa could be a bit challenging especially when one is in Isolation.

Which is why we are coming up with list of people living with diabetes globally that didn’t allow Diabetes affect who they are.

They have proved beyond reasonable doubt through their dedication and exploits that #Diabetes can’t stop us irrespective of our age, race, social status and nationality.

PEOPLE LIVING WITH DIABETES THAT WILL INSPIRE YOU

Mohammad Al-Bahar (Kuwait)

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My name is Mohammad, I’m 31 years old, I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 2 years old (DOD 25 May 1986).

I have graduated from College of Business Administration in 2006, majored in Management Information System / IT, pursued a professional insurance diploma from the Chartered Insurance Institute based in the United Kingdom, used to work in insurance for 5 years and now working in Land Development (Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority).

I’m a Young Leader in Diabetes representing Kuwait and the MENA Region, my project is titled: “Diabetes Ambassadors Program”, which is mainly about spreading awareness about Type 1 Diabetes in Schools, colleges, universities as well as the workplace, to correct the misconception, fight discrimination and share our experience as diabetics about diabetes and how it can be managed and controlled.

My life with diabetes wasn’t easy, I had my highs and lows, in 2011 I went into a hypoglycemia coma, that experience lead me to take a stand and take good care of my health, I have learned carb counting and I’m currently using an insulin pump, I do exercise, extreme sports and have traveled the world.

I have considered diabetes as my friend … realizing that I’m not alone with diabetes, I have met an amazing group of people from all around the world diagnosed with diabetes, and we have learned from each other experiences that together we can control diabetes and live a healthy and a productive life just like everyone else, all we have to do is take certain measures into consideration.

Cherise Shockley (United States of America)

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I was diagnosed with Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults in June 2004.

I have been an invited speaker and presenter on the topic of diabetes and social media. I founded Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (DSMA) to empower, support and connect people affected by diabetes.

Through DSMA’s Twitter chats and Blog Talk Radio shows we are able to focus on life with diabetes and at as a pillar that brings the diabetes online community together.

Diabetes is a frustrating condition; it’s up and down, but what helps me stay sane is a lot of prayer and my faith.  If I could offer one piece of advice, please do not allow diabetes to steal your joy.

Life is too precious to focus on the inconsistency of this condition; it’s not your fault. 

Elizabeth Rowley (United Kingdom)

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My name is Elizabeth Rowley. I was born in the United States and have lived with type 1 diabetes for over 20 years.

There are a lot of things that make living with diabetes a challenge, particularly because people with Type 1 diabetes never get a break. It never goes away. We constantly have to test blood sugar, calculate carbohydrates, estimate insulin levels, factor in exercise or activity to avoid high or low blood sugars – not to mention the emotional and psychological effects! This is all exacerbated for someone who is struggling to access their insulin, diabetes supplies, or lacks proper diabetes education – a subject I care deeply about.

I moved to London in 2011 to complete my Master’s degree in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies at the London School of Economics and Political Science. During my course of study I gained the skills and confidence to set up T1International, a small charity that aims to raise awareness and make sure that everyone with type 1 diabetes has access to everything they need to survive and achieve their dreams. We have come a long way and, along with everyone that lives with or has a connection to type 1 diabetes, I know we can make a difference and address the fact that many people with type 1 diabetes are fighting for their lives daily due to lack of supplies, care, treatment, and education.

Living with diabetes has been a struggle for me personally, but I have done my best not to let it stop me from doing the things I want in life. It has given me a lot of determination and I am confident that by working together we can find creative and sustainable solutions to the complex problems faced by people with diabetes.

Yemurai Sammantha Machirori (Zimbabwe)

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Yemurai Sammantha Machirori

My name is Yemurai Sammantha Machirori, a 22 year old lady from Zimbabwe.
I was born on 31 October 1992 and I am currently studying tourism and hospitality management at one of our local colleges.

I was diagnosed with type one diabetes just a month before my 12th birthday, in September 2004. Accepting that I had diabetes was not much of a problem in my first two years of diagnosis, maybe because I was in an environment where I knew that everyone cared about me.

However, things started to change as I started senior school. Meeting new people and trying to fit into a new environment was difficult for both me and my diabetes and hence making my senior school years the worst of my diabetic life.

As I started college in 2012, I started working with my member association more, meeting more young people with diabetes and realising that diabetes was not a condition that only affected “old people”, something that I had been made to believe in senior school by the ladies I learnt with.

“I would like to help other children like me”… is what I told my mum on the night that I was diagnosed with diabetes and I was pushed a step towards my dream as I was approached by my member association to represent Zimbabwe as a young leader in diabetes in Melbourne (2012).
This gesture helped me a lot as I now appreciate my condition even more, and also determined to help other youths with diabetes in my country.