Precious Oham

Medical experts have called for strong effective intervention strategies and policies to stall the prevalent increase in the number of people developing diabetes, especially in Africa.

They made the call at the 2022 World Diabetes Day, organized by Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, ABUAD, with the theme “Education to Protect Tomorrow.”

According to a professor of Medicine and Provost of the College of Medicines and Consultant Physician from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Babatope Kolawole, 537 million representing 1 in 10 adults have diabetes worldwide.

The university don also disclosed that $206 billion was spent in the treatment of diabetes in 2021 alone, adding that 1 in two adults totaling 240 million people are undiagnosed but living with the disease.

Kolawole, who stated this in his paper titled: “Achieving Diabetes Prevention Through Education” said that by 2045, the number of people with diabetes would increase to 784 million people.

The professor of Medicine also said that the south south region of the country has the highest prevalence of diabetes of all geopolitical zones of Nigeria in 2018 with 9.8%, followed by the North East with 5.9% and the south west with 5.5% while the least region was the North West with 3.0 percent.

He called for the establishment of Diabetes Association to further strengthen awareness about the disease, urging the people to always engage in physical activities and sedentary behaviours.

His words: “Eventually the most effective means of mass education of persons with diabetes will be the development of lay associations, because those with chronic medical conditions are not only interested in their conditions but must learn how to take care of themselves.”

In his opening remarks, the Chief Medical Director Afe Babalola University Multi-System Hospital, Kolawole Ogundipe, said the theme of the event was apt because the International Diabetes Federation has launched a global survey to explore the levels of access that healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes have to diabetes education.

According to him, the campaign embarked by ABUAD mainly focuses on the need for better access to quality diabetes education, urging the people to take the opportunity of a three days free Diabetes test by the Multisystem Hospital to get themselves tested.

In his remark at the occasion, the Founder of ABUAD, Afe Babalola, SAN, urged researchers including those in the university to expedite action and find a cure for the diabetes described as a silent killer.