The best way to enhance the prevention and treatment of diabetes in Nigeria is to properly educate the care givers and patients on the symptoms, risk factors and diet issues as it relates to the health condition, Dr. Diana Solana-Sodeinde, has said.
Dr. Solana-Sodeinde, a regulatory management officer at the Food Drug Agency (FDA) Office of Generic Drugs spoke with Pharmanews in an exclusive interview during the 85th Annual National Conference of the PSN, held in Abeokuta, Ogun State, last November.
Solana-Sodeine, a member of the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in The Americas (NAPPSA) who presented a paper on the topic: “Living sweet with diabetes – the role of Nigerian Pharmacists in diabetes management” at the conference said that proper education is crucial to diabetes control and management.
“People need to know how to take menu that are low in calorie and less in carbohydrates. People also need to know the health benefits of consumption of less alcohol, quitting smoking and doing regular exercises, she said.
She stressed that proper education is therefore crucial to enhance lifestyle medication that will ensure that Nigerians eat the right diet and do regular exercise.
Dr. Solana-Sodeinde lamented that Nigeria currently have about 3 million people living with diabetes, which makes the country the most populous African country with diabetes, adding that the WHO has projected that by 2030, the figure will increase to four million, three hundred thousand people. These figures, she said are very high.
She urged the government to get the mass media involved in educating Nigerians on this medical disorder. “Just like it is being done for HIV/AIDS, people need to be informed and educated about diabetes and the government should do more an enlightenment,” she said.
She said that NAPPSA is desirous of doing more to help improve health care in Nigeria, adding that the association will continue to help in any way possible to curtail the spread of diabetes and other non-communicable disease and even communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB. “We will try and help our country,” she said.