By Najib Sani
The Diabetes Association of Nigeria, DAN, has appealed to federal and state governments in the country to subsidize diabetes drugs and injections in order to enable people living with the disease, especially the poor ones, to afford and take their medications regularly as a way of managing the illness.
The Bauchi State coordinator of the association, Bathnna Sule, who is a visiting consultant on diabetes at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, ATBUTH, Bauchi, made this appeal on Saturday during the DAN’s state monthly enlightenment lecture held at the hospital.
Mr Sule said diabetes drugs ‘are expensive’, requesting government at all levels to either put subsidy on them or include all diabetics in the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, where they would be paying only 10 percent of their medical bills like their tuberculosis counterparts.
According to him, diabetes is categorized into four types, 1, 2, 3 and 4, that affect children, adults, pregnant women and the one which is being caused by other diseases.
He pointed out that there was no better treatment for the disease than frequent taking of medication according to prescription and eating the right foods.
He recommended that diabetic patients should eat more vegetables, fruits in small quantities as well as shun all foods and drinks produced with sugar such as cakes, ice creams, soft drinks and other juices to avoid complication.
Also speaking, the DAN national president, Mohammed Alkali, who doubles as the Chief Medical Director of the Abubakar Tafwa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, lauded the state chapter for organizing the monthly event.
He stated that the International Diabetes Federation, IDF, has admitted three of his members into its school of diabetes to undergo various online courses on diabetes education.
Aside from that, Mr Alkali said plan was underway to assist 20-year-old and below type 1 diabetic patients across the nation with free insulin injections.
He said the association would soon issue national identity cards to all registered members nationwide.