As Nigerians joined the rest of the world to mark 2017 World Diabetes Day, no fewer than 200 people from Ajah/ Addo community in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State have benefited from the free health screening and awareness campaign, recently organised by the Afonchies Pharmaceutical Limited, a chain retail pharmacy in Ajah community and its environs.
World Diabetes Day is celebrated annually on 14 November and was initiated by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), in 1991 in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, in response to growing concerns about the escalating threats posed by diabetes.
Speaking with Pharmanews, the managing director, Afonchies Pharmaceuticals Limited, Pharm. Adebayo Afon, explained that the free medical screening and awareness was organised to have an impact in the community where his pharmacies are located and as well as to celebrate this year World Diabetes Day,which aimed at raising public awareness and understanding of diabetes as one of the common diseases that affect millions of people worldwide.
According to him, “World Diabetes Day was first introduced in 1991 and founded by both the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in reaction to the rise in cases of Diabetes worldwide. It was decided to choose a day of the year to raise awareness of Diabetes and related causes and the day chosen was the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, a medical scientist who co-discovered Insulin and was the first person to use it on humans.
Speaking further, Pharm. Afon explained that the day was set aside globally to draw attention to the health condition that is fast becoming a global pandemic, adding that the theme for this year World Diabetes Day is “Women and Diabetes — Our Right to a Healthy Future”.
He further explained that diabetes is not as a result of consuming sugar or sugary things, but rather, as a result of the body’s ability to handle glucose in the body, noting that the glucose comes from all the food we eat whether it is meat, carbohydrate, protein or fat; saying, in their normal forms, the body does not recognise them.
Speaking on the responses of people towards the medical screening, the pharmacist in charge of the screening exercise, Pharm. (Mrs) Vivian Aneto, said he was overwhelmed by the way people embraced the screening exercise, saying the turn-out was impressive and people were eager to know their status as well as what to do to live a healthy life style
According to her, having regular exercise, eating right and constantly checking one’s Body Mass Index (BMI) could lead to early detection and management of the condition, stressing that their is need for proper education and enlightenment about the condition, especially for the women in line with this year’s theme.
“With proper education, lifestyle modification, including quitting of smoking, drinking alcohol, regular exercise, healthy diet and weight reduction, a diabetic patient can live as long as God has designed it, if the person follows medical instructions and the condition does not occur only in older people as is commonly believed, but also occur in children. She said
While thanking the organistaion for organizing the screening, one of the benefactors, Mrs Christy Onimola, expressed happiness that such a programme could be organized in the community, saying if other organisations around could embrace the good gesture, life would be good for all in the community and beyond.
Also speaking in the same vein, another beneficiary, Mr. Abdul-Rasheed Adejumo commended Afonchies pharmacy for the programme, while urging them to extend the exercise to other parts of the community, as there were other people who would be willing to participate but lived far away from where the programme is taking place.