ACPN Seeks FG’s Intervention on Access to Anti-Diabetes 

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… Advocates Closure of Open Drug Markets

In commemorating the 2021 World Diabetes Day, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), has lamented that nearly 100 years after the discovery of insulin and other diabetes medications, they remain largely unavailable and unaffordable for the majority of Nigerians, as 6 million of adult Nigerians are said to be diabetic.

This was contained in a press release, signed and made available to the media by its National Chairman, Pharm. Wale Oladigbolu, in celebration of 2021 World Diabetes Day, themed “Access to Diabetes Care: If not now, when?”.

According to Oladigbolu, the theme, which will run from 2021 to 2023, is succinct and appeals to the healthcare situation, and indeed diabetes care in Nigeria more than most countries of the world. He said about 5.8 per cent of adult Nigerians are said to be diabetic, saying the figure is a tip of the iceberg as it is estimated that two-thirds of the diabetes cases in Nigeria remain undiagnosed.

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The number one community pharmacist in the country, noted that the situation of diabetes care in Nigeria is simply sub-optimal, ridden with inequality and lack of access to diabetes care, high cost of medicines, lack of quality assurance checks for service providers in the healthcare system and disorderly drug distribution system.

Oladigbolu however called on the Minister for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, to as a matter of urgency order the closure of all open drug markets in Nigeria, saying to do otherwise is to continue to play kites with the lives of ordinary Nigerians.

He also urged the Ministry of Health to call the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), to order on the misinterpretation of her guidelines and the misdirection of her payment mechanism that has kept the coverage of health insurance in Nigeria at an abysmal level, while undermining the well being of people living with diabetes.

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He added “community pharmacies are accessible to the people and their knowledge, skill and setups are suitable for diabetes education, ACPN has therefore commissioned a countrywide Community Pharmacy-Based Diabetes Education Programmes, which is a 12-month, individualized care programme based on Standardised Diabetes Self-Management Education Programme.

“This collaborative study will enrol over one thousand diabetic patients nationwide and it will be characterized by baseline clinical and pharmacotherapy assessments as well as assessment of baseline diabetes knowledge of these patients.

“Community pharmacists interventions {Diabetes Education/Pharmaceutical care} at the scheduled visit and the results of changes in clinical values and quality of lives of the patients at the end of the study. So, we look forward to collaboration from Pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare professionals for this important study”, he said.

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