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Diabetes Association of Nigeria reveals 11.2 Million affected Nigerians



Diabetes Association of Nigeria reveals 11.2 Million affected Nigerians

The Diabetes Association of Nigeria has disclosed that a staggering 11.2 million Nigerians are currently grappling with diabetes, according to Dr. Alkali Mohammed, the association’s President. This revelation emerged during an event in Abuja, commemorating the 2023 World Diabetes Day (WDD), an occasion designated by the UN to spotlight the urgency of addressing the diabetes menace.


The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Access to diabetes care,” emphasizing the critical need for collective and individual efforts to manage and prevent the condition. Dr. Mohammed highlighted that out of the 11.2 million individuals living with diabetes in Nigeria, 90% are affected by type 2 diabetes, a condition capable of impacting any part of the body.


Globally, approximately 537 million people are reported to be living with diabetes, with projections indicating a potential surge to 737 million by 2040 if decisive action is not taken to curb the disease. Dr. Mohammed advocated for a substantial increase in the tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) from 10% to 20%, asserting that such a tax hike could foster a healthier culture by discouraging the consumption of sugary products and generate revenue for the government.


Expressing concern, he noted that the government had not provided a transparent account of how the existing 10% tax from SSBs was being utilized. Dr. Mohammed urged the government to allocate at least 60% of the generated tax revenue to public enlightenment, prevention efforts, and the subsidization of medications, especially for diabetes patients. Additionally, he called for the enrollment of Nigerians with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, in the health insurance scheme.


In a related development, the National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR) coalition emphasized the significant financial burden of diabetes on individuals and the nation. Dr. Alhassan-Adamu Umar, Chairman of NASR, revealed that a diabetic patient spends no less than ₦300,000 annually on medication, indirectly costing Nigeria about $4.5 billion yearly. The coalition urged the country to take decisive actions to mitigate the risks associated with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) linked to the consumption of SSBs.


Dr. Umar underscored the comprehensive impact of diabetes on families, including increased healthcare costs, reduced productivity, and the burden of caring for affected family members. He emphasized the need for policymakers to implement effective policies, increase awareness of lifestyle choices, and ensure proper utilization of tax deductions from SSBs for the well-being of diabetic patients. The NASR coalition serves as an advocate for policies aimed at reducing SSB consumption and addressing the health risks associated with NCDs like type 2 diabetes, cancer, and hypertension.

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