DIABETES CARE IN NIGERIA : THE WAY FORWARD
On the 28th of April The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community and Diabeticare International in their usual style had a 1hour tweetchat that aimed at discussing the way forward in diabetes mellitus care in Nigeria.
There has been a progressive increase in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in Nigeria and the burden is expected to increase even more. Considering this fact there is an urgent need to examine our healthcare systems, work on existing programmes for persons with diabetes and effectively implement a process that facilitates accessibility to such.
This discussion that pulled interested participants from Nigeria and beyond was aimed at getting opinions and suggestions that are people oriented towards forging ahead in our clamour for quality health care services and delivery in Nigeria.
Five questions were thrown in the chat. Responses are summarized
1st QUESTION: On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate DM (Diabetes Mellitus) care in Nigeria and why?
Diabetic care in Nigeria is very poor because it is reactive rather than proactive. Prevention should be a key strategy
2nd QUESTION: how do you think NGOs can help with DM care and T2 (type2) DM prevention in your community?
Access to information & education is key. People can be empowered to be advocates for change in their own #diabetes communities
Education is key; insulin without education is like a car without a steering wheel and of course access to supplies is essential: affordability & availability are major issues in many countries, especially rural areas.
NGOs have more ability to influence education in a sustainable fashion and can help through health education programmes and the organisation of peer support groups for affected individuals
Crucial programs need to consider local customs & culture – involving #youth is essential!
Founders of t1 international and 100 campaign (international NGOs dedicated to T1DM CARE and promotion of access to insulin by all by 2022) our partners find it hard to believe that insulin is still so expensive – they believe insulin should be a human right.
3rd QUESTION: How can Health care providers enhance adequate support for people with D (diabetes)?
There should be more awareness and education provided in the communities
Pressure needs to be put on the pharmaceutical Companies – Diabetes is not a money making scheme
Connecting them to others. Empowering people to realize they can live a normal life, without limitations
By working together we can achieve this! We can learn from other movements. Strength in numbers & empowered groups
Individualising the treatment is key. Proper education of patients with Diabetes and making them partners in their own treatment
4th QUESTION: What role can the food, drinks and beverage industry play in DM care and prevention?
The food, drink and beverage industries need to be properly regulated!
Remember type1 is about a lack of insulin nothing to do with food types – watching food groups helps maintain better blood glucose control
Although food, drink & beverage industries do play a role in the lifestyles of people (& co morbidities), more sugar free alternatives of common beverages should be made available
5th QUESTION: In what ways can ‘WE’ increase community awareness on a large scale?
TV campaigns or radio jingles on Diabetes happen to be important means of mass education and this can be linked to a local community (health/ fitness) prevention event.
Empowering local role models with diabetes.
recognizing the basic symptoms and encouraging a healthy lifestyle for all
All forms of media (TV, Radio, Print, and Social) will help with the awareness. Currently very little is being done through them.
In lieu of this we at the Nigeria Diabetes Online Community hope to partner with individuals and organizations who see a need to propose and effect change in the Nigeria Healthcare system towards adequate Diabetes Care.
Thanks to all our Nigerian participants and our international friends who graced the meeting and also participated through great ideas and suggestions.