Nigerians have been urged to engage more in physical exercise to curb the progression of diabetes as more than 5.5 per cent of the population of the country suffering from the ailment is alarming.
Resource persons from different parts of the world who spoke at a 3-day diabetes awareness workshop which had as its theme, “Bringing Research In Diabetes To Global Environment and Systems (BRIDGES)” held at Novena University, Ogume, Delta state observed that while there was the need to ensure effective management of diabetes, it will be more beneficial for Nigeria as a country if its spread is curtailed.
The workshop which ended yesterday was organised by the university in conjunction with the International Diabetes Foundation and Global Medical Research and Development Organisation (GMRDO).
Dr Ezekiel Uba Nwose, of Charles Sturt University, Australia who is one of the lead presenters at the workshop said, “diabetes is one of the major problems in the world that is easily connected with metabolic syndrome that predisposes to heart diseases.
“It is alarming that 5.5 per cent of Nigerians are suffering from diabetes; the people should engage in more physical exercise, check what they eat,” he stated.
Continuing, he said, “participants at this workshop which include health care professionals, public health, staff and students are going to organise diabetic patients, train them on how to manage diabetes, especially on lifestyle methods; currently, the Global Medical Research and Development Organisation has been operating at the Catholic hospital, Abbi in Ndokwa West local government area of Delta State.”
Mr Otovwe Agofure in his presentation stated, “we did a study and got a per centage of 25.46 of people having diabetes in Ughelli alone, that is to tell you the degree of prevalence in Nigeria.
“We need to create the awareness that diabetes has come to stay with us, some people may not know that they have diabetes until they collapse or have stroke because, it goes with hypertension,” he emphasised.
Prof. Ifeoma Ulasi of the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus buttressed the need for accurate data to be collected, stating that patients must be properly cared for.
The coordinator of the programme, Prof. Eunice Igumbor who is the Provost, College of Health Sciences, Novena University, said, “the workshop is an intensive programme for diabetes on type of food, lifestyle because, type 2 is prevalent in Nigeria, we are screening people for diabetes, put them on test and monitor them using the facilities in Novena University.”
Others who spoke at the workshop including masters of public health students, emphasised that the prevalence of diabetes in Nigeria is fast becoming pandemic which underscores the need for participants at the workshop to carry out massive awareness campaign on awareness, food options and physical activities.
Participants at the workshop were thought how to gather data, how to treat and counsel patients, among others.