The Chief Executive Officer, of Save Our Heritage Initiative, Ms. May Ikokwu, on Monday said that early testing and detection are paramount in the management of diabetes for normal living.
Ikokwu said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the occasion of the 2022 World Diabetes Day in Abuja.
She explained that the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Access to diabetes Education’, noting that it underpins the larger multi-year theme of ‘Access to Care’.
She advocated for preventive interventions, especially dieting, saying that diabetes could be triggered by diets.
Ikokwu, who described diabetes as the body’s ability or inability to produce the required amount of insulin to control glucose levels in the blood, said there are broadly two types of diabetes.
“According to Medical Experts, Type 1 requires daily administration of artificial insulin by means of injection or insulin pump.
“Type 2 is more generally managed by a combination of dietary control and medication in the form of tablets,” she said.
According to her, the replacement of most carbohydrates in a normal diet with vegetables is recommended.
She added: “Fonio (Digitaris exilis, a West African cereal), Tamarind, Moringa, Ewedu, Bitter leaf, and Baobab are types of African superfoods that can effectively reduce blood sugar and fight diabetes.”
Ikokwu stressed the importance of maintaining good control of diabetes to help reduce and avoid long-term complications.
Ikokwu stressed the need for regular monitoring of sugar levels in the body to avert diabetes, saying that the equipment is inexpensive and available at most pharmacies.
She advised: “It is important that development work continues, to ensure people with the condition can live as normal a life as possible.
“Diabetes can affect anyone irrespective of age with complications of blindness.”
Ikokwu quoted International Diabetes Federation as saying that the latest prevalence figure is 425 million persons living with Diabetes Mellitus worldwide, with nearly 50 percent of these undiagnosed.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that World Diabetes Day which is commemorated on November 14 provides an opportunity to raise awareness of diabetes as a global public health issue.