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Doctors Complaining of high cost of drugs for diabetes

Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole

the President, Diabetes Association of Nigeria, Dr. Alkali Mohammed, has called on the Federal Government to reduce the import duty on drugs for diabetes treatment.

Mohammed spoke at the third Podiatry and Diabetes Foot Care Workshop organised by the Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre in Lekki, Lagos in partnership with the Podiatry Institute in the United States and the World Diabetes Foundation.

The workshop, ‘Initiating, Implementing and Sustaining a National Diabetes Foot Care Policy.’

Although the disease could be managed with the right drugs and some lifestyle modification, the endocrinologist said, many Nigerians were dying due to lack of information and high cost of medication.

Mohammed said, “The government needs to subsidise the treatment of diabetes. It can start by reducing the import duty on medication for diabetes, especially insulin. It should also incorporate its treatment into its health insurance scheme across all boards.”

Worried about the increasing number of young children being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the specialist urged Nigerians to reduce their sugar intake.

Noting that studies have shown that the high consumption of the sweetener is a major cause of Type 2 diabetes among teenagers, he said, “It is estimated that about five million Nigerians are living with diabetes. The disease comes with many complications because it affects the eye, kidney and foot. It also causes high blood pressure.

“We are worried because juvenile diabetes (diabetes in young people) is on the rise. These days we see teenagers being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

“The Food and Drugs Administration Organisation of America has recognised sugar as the major cause of diabetes and not cholesterol.”

Mohammed also recommended that adults should exercise for an hour everyday to reduce the risk of getting the disease.

The Coordinator, Diabetes Podiatry Initiative Nigeria, Dr. Afokoghene Isiavwe, identified foot disease as a major cause of death among people living with diabetes in the country.

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