Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on November 14, 2013 under NGDOC News | 3 Comments to Read

DIABETES IN NIGERIA: PROTECTING THE FUTURE (Best International Contribution Award)



Nigeria is an explosively colourful and diverse country, known as the super-power of Africa. However, beneath its captivating beauty, it has the highest number of people affected by diabetes on the planet. An alarming 3 million Nigerians have diabetes, and an additional 3.85 million have impaired glucose tolerance. To place this astounding statistic into a more relative perspective, the entire country of New Zealand has a mere population of 4.4 million citizens. Nigeria has in excess of 6 million people with diabetes and these are only the diagnosed cases.

Nigeria also has the highest diabetes-related mortality rate in Africa, and an additional 344,000 annual deaths are due to undiagnosed diabetes. Why, in 2013 are so many people suffering and dying from a condition that is not longer fatal in Western countries? Global governments seem detached from the real issues of the planet. Priorities need to change. Diabetes awareness needs to be at the forefront of governmental discussions to protect the future of countries like Nigeria.

Understandably there are many other health related conditions in Nigeria. Sufferers of HIV/Aids rightly receive free diagnosis tests and gain some subsidised medication. Unfortunately the money simply isn’t available for patients facing or living with diabetes. They are often unable to gain access to syringes, insulin and monitoring equipment. Without check-ups and education they can also be unaware that they are developing physical complications. If awareness was increased around the country, and communities were encouraged to attend regular medical check-ups, more patients would be healthy and positively managing their conditions and mortality would subsequently decrease.

The introduction of unhealthy Western foods has also led to an increase in cases of type two diabetes. If educated teams could travel to communities and spread information about diet, avoiding or managing diabetes and the complications to look out for, the country would be in a much more positive position and able to conquer the current mortality statistics.


By the year 2030 it is estimated that developing nations will account for over 80% of the global increase of patients with diabetes. In Nigeria the expenditure simply cannot be matched. This rapid growth means that people with diabetes are likely to suffer the most; and unfortunately the healthcare sector will unjustly buckle under the financial strain. It is imperative that awareness programs are initiated now, before funding further decreases.
We need to work together as a planet. If the available money and technology could be spent on proactive education, the numbers of patients with type two diabetes could drastically decrease. This would also have a flow on effect by freeing up funding for the much needed medical supplies for insulin dependent type ones and twos. Positive change stems from awareness and community support, hopefully the future of Nigeria will be protected if positive measures are taken and education could become more far reaching. The citizens of Nigeria deserve to live, be healthy and look forward to a brighter future.

Carrie Hetherington


Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on under NGDOC News | 6 Comments to Read

Diabetes in Nigeria: Protecting the Future (2nd Place)




Hello, it is with utmost pleasure that I write to tell you of my journey so far towards being the number one killer disease on the planet and the good news is that I’m close to achieving this dream of mine. I run in families and can be transferred through genes so you can be sure that when your dad or mum has a piece of me, you are at high risk of having me as well. I become readily available when your body does not produce enough insulin or your body cells are not responding to insulin. And even if I’m not present in your family already, you can be the first in the family to invite me.

All you simply have to do is stick to an only-carbohydrate diet with sugary soft drinks and I’ll be right there smiling and waiting for the right time to strike. For those of you who are obese and do not exercise, we are definitely allies already as you simply make my job easier.

You might make the mistake of underestimating my abilities and take me for granted but be sure that when I strike, you’ll urinate more often, get thirsty, lose weight and the slightest injury to you have will refuse to heal and worsen to the extent  that you might get an amputation.

I attack people all over the world but my favourite domain is in Nigeria because when I strike in some places here, they attribute it to witches in their villages giving me the impetus to spread my wings further.

Well, at this point I know what you are thinking. That I’m unfair right? But please don’t be quick to condemn because I’m not as unfair as those of you who know all about me and haven’t warned your friends and neighbours. This is because the truth is that I’m not as powerful as I sound.  I am almost powerless if you discover me on time by running a test on your blood or urine and then starting treatment with drugs and exercise depending on the type of me you are affected by.

With all these mentioned you can render me totally powerless and lead your normal life. On the contrary, if I’m not discovered early, I can go ahead to affect your eyes, heart, kidney, ears and give you all sorts of ailments that you will find difficult to cope with.

So the next time you act like I do not exist and do not take the necessary precautions, remember that I have a dream of being the number one killer disease and you are simply the next available target!.

Yours indeed,



An Essay Written by Theresa Odoh


Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on under NGDOC News | 24 Comments to Read




Everybody loves sweet things, especially those that are cold

Chocolates, ice-cream, the young, middle-aged, the old

There was a time ago when very few people knew what it is

Now everyone says if you take too many sugary things, you’ll get diabetes.

It’s a good thing lots of people today (especially the educated) know of its existence

But very few amongst them know of its eerie presence

4% which is about 6 million of our population is the estimated prevalence

And many more of us are ignorantly pre-diabetics

Not knowing that the risk of developing it goes beyond genetics

One might not have a single family member with this chronic disease

But with ignorance and carelessness, you could become the 1st to have it with ease

Knowing what a disease is called doesn’t necessarily mean awareness

It’s the knowledge of its risk factors, and preventive measures to reduce its incidence

Genetics (family history) as a risk factor may not be in your control

But what you eat, regular medical check-ups and how you live as a whole

Can go a long way in preventing its onset and/or complications


When it comes to Diet with fruits and vegetables, you can never go wrong

These also help kids grow healthy and strong

Avoid as much as possible processed foods and those with lots of calories

Yes they are sweet and tasty but will only bring you lots of worries

Have meals with salad or vegetable soups

And fill your kitchen with snacks made of easily accessible fruits

This way, the young will learn to make healthy eating a habit

And they’ll grow into healthy parents conscious of what they eat


The biggest controllable risk factors are Obesity and sedentary Lifestyle

Be close friends with your bathroom scales and hit the gym once in a while

Regular exercises cannot be overrated just as early morning jugs shouldn’t become outdated

Activities like walking, using the stairs, moving around—throughout the day

Aerobic exercises such as swimming, or even dancing

Lifting light weights and Flexibility exercises, like stretching should be encouraged

As these not only lower the risk of diabetes but also relieve stress and strengthens your heart, muscles and bones while improving your blood circulation

Don’t forget that diet is also a huge factor in obesity

This is another reason why you should watch what you eat


The hospitals are not meant for only the sick is what many have not realized

The importance of regular medical check-ups can’t be overemphasized

Make that appointment today

And at least once every year

To remember, pick a date of or around your birthday

So that you will remember when it’s near


Impart these ideas in Nigerian children because they have a right to know

Help them live healthily because it’s also their right to grow


If we can practice most of the tips I have written here then I’m very sure

That we have taken a huge step in PROTECTING THE FUTURE.





Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on under NGDOC News | 14 Comments to Read




“Diabetes Mellitus is defined as a metabolic disorder characterized by chronic high blood sugar level with disturbances to carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism resulting from defects in insulin secretion, action or both”1.

Diabetes is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. More than 80 percent of people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries. It is predicted to be the seventh leading cause of death worldwide by 20302.

It has been estimated that four out of every hundred Nigerians have diabetes mellitus 3.

Diabetes is common among urban settlers in Nigeria, affecting those within ages of 35-70 years due to obesity, sedentary lifestyles, dietary intake, alcohol, smoking and black race. Sadly, this age group represents economically productive in the country.


The future of Nigeria needs to be protected; we are here today because a previous generation protected their future. Hence we must pass on this privilege. Diabetes can affect Nigeria economically, educationally, socially and psychologically

Diabetic patients are usually faced with complications like blindness, limb amputations, heart conditions and kidney disease. The cost implication for the treatment of the disease is very high and unaffordable among the low income people. The sick are less productive, dependent on relations and tax payers for survival and often experience discrimination.

The school age diabetic patients find it difficult to concentrate on their studies due to their irregularities at school. Therefore, their educational development is in jeopardy.

There is tendency that diabetes will gradually reduce the country’s population if care is not taken.

To protect our future there are three basic suggested stages.

In the primary prevention stage, we aim at increasing the level of awareness of the public on causes and effects of diabetes by educating them on needs for lifestyle modifications, exercise, diet modifications as well as signs and symptoms of diabetes. Government can also regulate products of eateries, outlaw smoking and alcohol to prevent diabetes.

Interestingly, Nigerian Diabetic online community is doing a great job by reaching to all and sundry on this aspect.

At the secondary level, the aim is to promptly diagnose diabetes and treat in pre-clinical stage hereby avoiding complications.

In addition, Government and philanthropists are to be encouraged to offer free treatment to diabetic patients in the country. Government can as well encourage self-screening tests by subsidizing prices of glucometer for that purpose.

The tertiary level involves early treatment of complications to reduce morbidity and mortality, rehabilitation of those affected and creation of support groups to encourage them

In conclusion,

‘Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is yet to come

We have today. Let us begin’.

Mother Theresa

Our future starts from now, what we have in our hands may be worse than world war consequences if we allow it to degenerate. The Nigerian diabetic online community has shown concern to fight diabetes and save lives. Collectively, we are enjoined to unite to fight diabetes together.






  1. International Journal of Diabetes in developing countries: Diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus

American diabetes association. 2004; 27:5-10

2. World Health Organization. 2012;Diabetes Mellitus control

3. International Diabetes Foundation 2011

The challenges, hopes and aspirations of Living with Diabetes……Our interview with a Nigerian PWD

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on November 13, 2013 under Society | 2 Comments to Read


Nigeria typifies the classical example of living with Diabetes in a developing country where Diabetes is considered a social stigma and people are not eager to be termed or associated with it.

Developing countries like Nigeria have their peculiar challenges especially when such countries are still battling with communicable diseases and with increase industrialization opening doors to spread of T2DM.

We decided to take an innovative step by interviewing Mr Bolaji Lawal @BabanMoh , An investment banker with specialty in fixed income securities, capital market investment and corporate finance. He is a Type 2 Diabetic and resides in Port Harcourt (South South, Nigeria).

Mr Bolaji Lawal

Mr Bolaji Lawal


@theNGdoc: Brief Introduction of you sir and a summary of your journey so far as a PWD

Ans: I realized I was diabetic in December, 2010 after receiving malaria treatment and realized I was losing weight,My HCP quickly conducted a series of tests and informed me I was diabetic, he placed me on drugs

@theNGdoc: How has Living with diabetes affected your day to day activities?

Ans: Initially it was difficult but as I understood and got used to living with D,it became easier. Am hardly affected now.

@theNGdoc: How has the Nigeria health sector being able to improve your living with D?

AnsI am eternally grateful to the University of Port Harcourt teaching hospital for saving my life.

@theNGdoc: Does the Health Care play any role in managing and preventing Type 2 Diabetes in your area?

AnsDoctors in private practice need more training on management of DM,they can identify it easily but management needs improvement

@theNGdoc: What are the challenges faced by PWDs in Port Harcourt, Nigeria?

Ans: Quite a number but so many people are dying in Port Harcourt because of lack of proper management

@theNGdoc: Does the Health Care policy of Nigeria recognize the International Diabetes Charter of Rights and Responsibility of people living with PWD?

Ans: Please what is the Int’l Diabetes Charter of Rights and Responsibility about?

@theNGdoc: What ways can the Nigeria Diabetes online community, International Communities and Federal Government of Nigeria affect and help improve lives of PWDs in Nigeria in addition to activities already on ground.

Ans: Encourage a national weight loss program 2.Compel manufacturers to write the health risk on soft drinks, @DiabetiCare: @BabanMohD food and drinks industries in Nigeria should alert the masses on the health hazards linked to fizzy drinks jst like d tobacco ad does #ngdoc

@theNGdoc: We hope this interview serves as an eye opener and encourages other PWDs to speak out.Thank You all for your time Mr Bolaji Lawal

Thanks, pleasure is mine. Also like to extend my appreciation to Dr. Korubo and his team in Uniport Teaching Hosiptal

The purpose of this interview  to encourage as many PWDs to identify with the Global diabetes online communities for care and support and to also help as many national and international organizations interested in Diabetes prevention (T2DM) and care (T1DM and T2DM) in developing countries get access to information directly from PWDs.

Full transcripts of the #tweetinterview can be gotten here

We are currently working on promoting the International Diabetes Federation Charter of Rights and Responsibilities of PWD in Nigeria

A big thank you to those that joined the #tweetinterview on the 1st of April 2013 @theNGdoc

We also wish to appreciate Mr Bolaji Lawal for being a part of this event.


Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on November 12, 2013 under NGDOC News | Read the First Comment


The Outreach was collaboration between three Non Governmental Organisations namely: The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community (The NGDOC), Heal the World Foundation Nigeria and Curb Cancer Nigeria. It was conducted at Idi Iroko, Ogun State.

Idi Iroko is a small Community in the outskirt of Ogun State, Yewa South Local Government Area. It forms a border between Nigeria and Benin Republic. Officers of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Immigration are on both sides of the border to check people passing through the place in order to curb illegal trades. It is about 3 hours drive from Sagamu. The prevailing occupation is trading.

Adequate awareness was conducted in the community about the outreach days before, this reflected in the huge number of people that turned out for the outreach.


A team of volunteers from the 3 organizations arrived at the venue at about 10 am in a bus after a journey which lasted about three hours. A total of about 1500 people were already at the venue awaiting the medical team.


Questionnaires were administered to the people to find out about their knowledge, awareness and attitude to Diabetes and risk assessment. A brief health talk was delivered by one of the medical personnel.


Each participant went through the vital signs stations before they saw the doctors and then screening for diabetes and counselling was carried out.

The outreach lasted for over five hours .The medical outreach eventually ended at about 4pm and the medical team left.



  1. The turn out of the people for the free medical outreach was impressing. This shows their responsiveness to Orthodox medicine
  2.   Majority of the people that turned out for the outreach were elderly people above 50 years of age
  3. The people were eager to learn more about their health. This was displayed by their attentive attitude during the brief health talk



Dammy Opawale

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

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on November 11, 2013 under Diabetes Education, Information, Society | Read the First Comment


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


Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on November 10, 2013 under Diabetes Education | Be the First to Comment


Diet is one of the most important behavioral aspects of diabetes treatment. Basic principles of nutritional management, however, are often poorly understood, by both clinicians and their patients.

It is noteworthy that people with diabetes have the same nutritional needs as anyone else and thus must learn to eat well-balanced meals in the right amount, keeping fit and following the medications as prescribed by their HCPs.

Diabetes though on the rise, yet most cases (T2DM) are preventable with healthy lifestyle changes,

Eating right comes down to three things:

1. What you eat: Your diet makes a huge difference. Basically, all you should eat is mostly plant foods; cut back on refined carbohydrates and sugary drinks, and choose healthy fats over unhealthy fats.

2. When you eat: Diet is part of it but keeping regular meals and snacks also affect your blood sugar level and will help to keep them more constant.

3. How much you eat: Portion sizes matter. Even if you eat very healthy meals, if you eat too much you will gain weight, which is a factor in diabetes.

You do not need to eat special foods, but instead simply emphasize vegetables, fruits and whole grains. A diabetes diet is simply a healthy eating plan that is high in nutrients; low in fats and moderate in calories. It is a healthy diet for anyone.

For more info contact us on thengdoc@gmail.com and follow us on twitter @theNGdoc


Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on November 8, 2013 under Information, NGDOC News, Society | 2 Comments to Read



According to the International Diabetes Federation, health in sub-Saharan Africa has been traditionally dominated by infectious disease, HIV/AIDS, and poverty. With rapid urbanisation, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes are quickly becoming a new priority for health in the region. As urbanisation increases and the population ages, diabetes will pose an even greater threat.

In 2011, 14.7 million adults in the Africa Region are estimated to have diabetes, with a regional prevalence of 3.8%. The range of prevalence (%) figures between countries reflects the rapid transition communities in the region are facing.  The highest prevalence of diabetes in the Africa Region is in the island of Réunion (16.3 %), followed by Seychelles (12.4%), Botswana (11.1%) and Gabon (10.6%).  Some of Africa’s most populous countries also have the highest number of people with diabetes, with Nigeria having the largest number (3.0 million), followed by South Africa (1.9 million), Ethiopia (1.4 million), and Kenya (769,000).

Africa is currently the second largest mobile phone market after Asia, with more than 700 million mobile connections and a projected rise to almost 1 billion by 2016. More people on the continent have been introduced to the internet via mobile phones, and currently, Africa’s mobile data usage amounts to 14.85% of the total internet traffic – second only to Asia. In view of this, social media health platforms are rising  with social media becoming an integral part of modern society fostering a more intense, engaging and democratic discussion. Social media has moved beyond being a tool for young individuals to share their private lives (pictures, messages) to fostering serious discussion on technology, health and business.

The diabetes online community in Africa started up with Nigeria and South Africa joining in the world diabetes day 16hour twitter chat in 2012 organized by the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy in the United States of America, (http://diabetessocmed.com/). This chat featured about 6 countries, 449 participants, about 5 thousand Tweets, 6million impressions and reaching over 14 million people.

With Africa’s mobile subscriber base estimated to grow annually by a significant 30 percent, utilization of social media in establishing online health peer support communities in Nigeria and Africa has helped create awareness, educate and act as a great social media peer support.





To celebrate this year’s World Diabetes Day (WDD) on November 14, the Global Diabetes Communities spearheaded by The Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation formerly Diabetes Social Media Advocacy is coordinating a 24 hour global twitter chat for diabetes awareness and to celebrate the world diabetes day.

World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day

This 24hour twitter chat which will involve diabetes organizations like the Australian Diabetes online community, Blueprint Barbados,100 Campaign, Great Britain Diabetes online community, diabetes daily , diabetes hand foundation and the Nigeria diabetes online community aims at achieving a global conversation on the state of diabetes care.

The Nigeria Diabetes online community will be moderating the chat from 3pm-4pm E.S.T (9pm-10pm local time) and we will be discussing the Theme: Diabetes Prevention and Care in Nigeria: the past, present and future.

This is a clarion call to all people living with diabetes, diabetes advocates, and health care providers, government health agencies to join the global diabetes movement and get their voices heard.

The Chat will run from 0:00hrs -24:00hrs E.S.T (5am Nov 14- 5am Nov 15 local time). Join the Nigeria diabetes online community from 8pm-9pm Nov 14 as we discuss issues pertaining to diabetes in the continent.

Adejumo Olamide Hakeem




Blue Friday Personality of the Week

Posted by The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community on November 7, 2013 under Information, NGDOC News, Society | Be the First to Comment


In November 2010, Cherise Shockley cordinator of @DiabetesSocMed founded the Blue Fridays Initiative to spread the word about World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness Month.

Diabetes is more than just a national issue; it is a world epidemic. Blue Fridays brings the global diabetes community together to raise awareness and celebrate World Diabetes Day.

Cherise  received several emails and Facebook messages asking her to extend Blue Fridays and in december 2011, she honored the request she received from many people throughout the diabetes community by asking everyone to wear something blue every Friday.

Inspired by the Cherise’s #bluefriday success @hadejumo started the blue friday personality of the week #bluefridaypow where he aimed at showcasing and profiling people every friday who are dedicated to creating diabetes awareness as a way of promoting diabetes awareness, blue friday and reducing the stigma associated with diabetes in nigeria and africa in general.

This program which featured so many people (PW/OD) was generally accepted by nigerians and henceforth will be continued (from the 14th of March, 2013) by @theNGdoc and @diabeticare.

If you are a PWD,a Diabetes advocate or an interested individual and you want to be featured as our #bluefridaypow (Blue Friday Personality of the week) send your Your Name, when diagnosed if a PWD if not skip, your activities, profession, works (blogs, research or articles on D) or what you do generally!

Should you have any quotes or sites we can quote from, we’d gladly do that.

Send a picture of you in blue and with answers to the questions above to thengdoc@gmail.com.

Expect a responce from us within 3 working days.

More info on WDD Blue Fridays Initiative bluefridays – Diabetes Social Media Advocacy can be found here
Thank you and keep the awareness alive.