Sanofi Tasks Caregivers on Paradigm Shift in Diabetes Care

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–  Hosts experts at maiden edition of diabetes summit

A global healthcare leader, Sanofi, has tasked caregivers to embrace a new awakening and paradigm shift in the management of diabetes, a condition affecting over 400 million adults.

Speaking at the maiden edition of Sanofi Diabetes Summit 2017, themed “Diabetes: New management Trends Towards Improving Outcomes,” held at Renaissance Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, Pharm. Folake Odediran, general manager, Sanofi (Nigeria) said that the theme underscored the imperatives of a new awakening and paradigm shift in diabetes care, as well as the necessity to re-kit the healthcare giver who is a critical partner in providing the care.

Speaking further at the event chaired by Dr Sunny Kuku, a renowned consultant physician/endocrinologist, and graced by an array of distinguished experts working on diabetes, Pharm. Odediran said that to accelerate improved patients outcomes in diabetes care, a well-informed healthcare practitioner is a crucial catalyst.

She restated Sanofi’s commitment as a partner to help protect, enable, and support people with diabetes when it matters most, adding that the summit exemplified one of Sanofi’s partnerships with the scientific and healthcare community and was aimed at building capacity, best practice sharing and providing an avenue for consistency in diabetes care.

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who was represented at the summit by the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Lagos University Teaching Hosptial (LUTH), Professor Chris Bode, said that one in every two adults is diabetic and most are undiagnosed, noting that there are five million diabetes related deaths yearly.

While lamenting that diabetes is one of the major causes of end-stage renal disease and blindness, the minister noted that leadership and action are both needed to tame the condition. An example of the leadership and action, he said, was the Diabetes Summit organised by Sanofi.

In his opening remarks, Dr Sunny Kuku said that diabetes had not been recognised as a health emergency in African countries, noting that 72 per cent of type 2 diabetes in Africa were undiagnosed, resulting in many patients with the condition having serious complications before they come to the clinic.

While nothing that nothing much had changed in the treatment of diabetes despite all the new drugs introduced for its treatment in the last 40 years, Dr Kuku charged caregivers in Africa to produce the needed data to support diabetes management.

Also speaking on the topic: “Challenging The Status Quo In the Current Management of Diabetes in Sub-Saharan Africa,” renowned professor of medicine and endocrinology, Jean Claude Mbanya, from the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde and honorary president of the International Diabetes Foundation, said that the worldwide prevalence of diabetes is increasing.

He urged caregivers to change the way they take care of their patients to reflect present realities, noting that the era when caregivers acted as if they knew it all had passed.

Mbanya, while urging caregivers to empower their patients to be able to better manage the condition by doing the right thing when they are not with their physicians, also charged them to embrace continuous learning on diabetes, adding that the importance of education cannot be over-emphasised.

In his own presentation, Prof. Andrew Uloko from Bayero University, Kano, who spoke on “The Epidemiology and Disease Burden of Diabetes In West Africa – Nigeria And Ghana In Focus”, said that while about 415 million people around the world are currently affected by diabetes, the figure will nearly double by 2040, adding that 22 million people have diabetes in Africa.

He lamented that the largest undiagnosed diabetes in the world is in Africa, stating that while we focus on infectious diseases, diabetes is killing about 5 million people annually.

Uloko explained that the major barriers to diabetes care in Nigeria are poverty, low awareness, as well as inadequate health infrastructure and health personnel, stressing that diabetes and its complications are already reaching epidemic proportions in Nigeria.  He called for the concerted efforts of all stakeholders to curb the rising incidence of the condition.

Other speakers at the summit included Prof. Abiola Oduwole, a consultant of paediatrics endocrinology; Prof. Mahmoud Sani, a cardiologist; and Prof. Babatope Kolawole, a professor of medicine and consultant physician/endocrinologist.

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