Multinational, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Pharmaceuticals has successfully conducted a large scale public mass screening exercise for Hypertension and Diabetes among residents of Udo in the Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State to mark the 2019 World Diabetes Day (WDD). The WDD event had the theme “The Family and Diabetes”.
The leading Pharmaceutical Company also committed itself to treating the people of the community and its environs by commissioning a Diabetics and Hypertension clinic (DHC) at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).
The clinic which is a public-private partnership initiative between UBTH and Sanofi is aimed at effective management of the twin-disease conditions by bringing healthcare to the primary level of care and closer to people in under-served communities.
In an address at the event, Chief Medical Director (CMD) Professor Darlington Obaseki noted that the event was organized by the hospital to mobilize the community to a new awareness about the killer disease in order to take measures to prevent or effectively manage it.
Obaseki described diabetes and hypertension as the two commonest non-communicable diseases seen in UBTH among adults.
According to him, more than half of those who have the two diseases are unaware that they have them and often present for medical care too late.
The screening exercise, he said, is necessary so detect the disease early and take necessary medical intervention to avoid complications.
He commended the traditional ruler, the Iyase of Udo dukedom, HRH Patrick Igbinidu and his council of chiefs for mobilizing the people in their large numbers to participate in the disease awareness sessions and screening exercise. Prof. Obaseki also expressed delight with the commissioning of the DHC and the support from Sanofi.
In her speech, the General Manager and Country Chair, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Pharmacist Folake Odediran, pointed out that the growing burden of diabetes is a major public health concern and a development challenge because the disease forces many people and families into poverty due to catastrophic expenditures on treatment.
She listed some barriers to effective management of diabetes to include low level of disease awareness, inability to access a health worker or health facility, poorly equipped health centers, inadequate number of health workers and inability to afford the cost of treatment.
“However, the good news is that diabetes can be effectively managed through interventions that include early diagnosis and access to quality healthcare”, said Odediran.
According to her, “our purpose is to understand the healthcare needs of people in places where we serve and to help in solving those needs. At Sanofi, we recognize that diabetes is a growing public health issue in Nigeria and we are taking definitive steps in tackling the disease burden through collaboration with stakeholders, such as the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH)”.
Diabetes mellitus is described as a disorder in which blood sugar (glucose) levels are abnormally high because the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to meet its needs. Urination and thirst are increased, and people may lose weight even if they are not trying to.
A chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose).
A chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.
A condition in which blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes.
A form of high blood sugar affecting pregnant women.