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Over 6 Million Nigerians Live with Diabetes – Experts



World Diabetes Day

Global Diabetes Walk in Lagos on Friday, November 14th to commemorate World Diabetes Day (WDD)

Peter Ujomu, Executive Director, Health Matters Inc, on Friday said that an estimated six million people were living with diabetes in Nigeria.

Ujomu made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of activities marking the 2014 World Diabetes Day (WDD) in Lagos.

NAN reports WDD is a day set aside by the International Federation for Diabetes to increase the awareness about diabetes.

WDD is marked annually on Nov. 14, and the 2014 campaign marks the first of a three-year (2014-16) focus on healthy living and diabetes.

Ujomu said: “The number of people with diabetes may be on the increase because there are so many predisposing factors that are all over the place.

“Like every other statistics in Nigeria, there is always controversy about the number but right now, we believe about six million people are living with diabetes in this country.

“Some of the factors are the kind of foods we eat; culture, lifestyle and other things that happen to us.

“These are all signposts of an imminent danger in the increase of the number of people living with diabetes’’.

According to Ujomu, there is need to expand the message horizon by talking to communities as almost half of the people with diabetes remain undiagnosed.

“For this year’s WDD, we had a walk, which is about sensitisation and awareness creation and over 500 people were screened.

“At our level, all we are doing is education, testing, making sure that people know their status and encouraging early treatment.

“Internationally, stem cells are being developed for all kinds of ailments but we do not have any proof of that yet in the country,’’ he said.

Afoke Isiavwe, Medical Director, Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre, Lekki, Lagos, said, that “Diabetes often times has no symptoms and by the time most people realise it, the cost of treatment and management becomes high.

“Majority of people who have diabetes are between the ages of 40 and 59 years.

“But again, the younger age groups are getting diabetes now, especially as a result of feeding habits and lifestyles.

“Eating healthy breakfast will help to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Healthy breakfast should consist of water, green vegetables, fruits, nuts and cereal.”

Paul Amaze, a Consultant Endocrinologist, said that there were different types of diabetes.

“There are different types of diabetes such as Type 1, Type 2, Gestational Diabetes and a few others. The Type 2 Diabetes is common and affects the older people.

“The predisposing factors to Type 2 Diabetes include obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, advancing age, strong family history, hypertension and western diet.

“Younger children usually have the Type 1 Diabetes.

“We also have Gestational Diabetes, which is found in some women during pregnancy. Constant exercise and healthy diet are the only ways to prevent and manage diabetes,’’ he said.

Amaze urged Nigerians to be careful with their feeding pattern.

“We should watch what we eat. Avoid too much intake of fatty and oily foods, smoking, alcohol, carbonated drinks as well as sugary food and drinks.

“Exercise regularly to burn calories and keep fit always; by so doing the rate of diabetes would be reduced.

” Nigerians should be conscious of regular checkup to enable early treatment and management of positive cases.

“The rapid test for the check takes less than five minutes to be done,’’ he said.

Photo Credit: NAN-PHOTO

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.


  1. idunnu

    November 16, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    But Nigerians rarely go for body exercise

  2. Chukwuma

    November 16, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    This stats are High BP arousing. If we can watch ourselves ‘Nigerians’, its gonna reduce. regular healthcheck, regular exercises, food monitoring and all that.

    God save Nigeria!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. fleur

    November 17, 2014 at 1:22 am

    This must be confirmed cases because at least 3 out of every 5 people I know who is over the age of 60 in Rivers State is diabetic. If the

  4. naijadiabeteseducator

    November 17, 2014 at 1:28 am

    Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and amputation below the knees in the US.
    Statistics in the US show that 29 Americans have diabetes and another 9 million are undiagnosed.
    It goes to show that it is an epidemic on the rise ,and will also affect Nigerians.
    I am a diabetes educator, and would gladly educate anyone interested in understanding and managing diabetes better.
    It is not a death sentence, but if not managed well, can lead to various complications, including end stage renal disease.

  5. vee

    November 17, 2014 at 5:58 am

    Wrong…..fatty and oily foods increases risk for high cholesterol predisposing one to clogged arteries. Our food is mostly starchy……rice, yam, eba, fufu, pounded yam, white bread…. these kinds of foods predisposes one to diabetes.
    Right……more veggies, regular exercise, more annual and regular check ups will help our country prevent diabetes and it’s complications.
    In all, moderation is key, cos I still love me some Nija food.

  6. @edDREAMZ

    November 17, 2014 at 7:16 am

    6 million kwa. I no follow and neighther is any of my family members too….

  7. Pat

    November 17, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    If we pay more attention to our diet some of these health issues could be reduced. African soil is blessed with alkaline food yet we don’t eat right. We prefer to eat acidic or man made food (potato, cassava, carrot, yam, indomie noodles etc) which should only be eaten once in awhile.

  8. Pat

    November 17, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    @vee Just read your comment, you took the words right out of my mouth. you are TOTALLY right.

  9. Lucille Murray

    January 12, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Oh! That’s sad. We had to take prevention measures.

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