An endocrinologist and specialist in the study and management of the gland and related area, Dr. Femi Fasanmade, has urged people living with diabetes not to see the ailment as a death sentence, but rather something they can live with and enjoy good life.
Speaking at the launch of the ten steps to better glucose control, developed by the Global Partnership for Effective Diabetes Management in Lagos, Fasanmade said a strict adherence to the glucose control guidelines could be all a patient would require to live with the condition in good health.
According to him, the steps to better glucose control helps create awareness on the disease and acquaint patients, doctors and health workers on the best way to achieve a control of the disease through the new guidelines.
Explaining the ten steps, Fasanmade said diabetic patients could reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications and thus improve their quality of life by following the recommendations of the ten steps.
These, he said, require among other things that the patient should strive to monitor his condition regularly and aggressively manage his blood sugar level, as well as blood fat (hyperglycaemia, hypertension and dyslipidemia); and every new diabetes patient should see a specialist, who should initiate appropriate management procedure before referring the patient to a general practice practitioner.
The patient and his/her doctor should not spear any management method to achieve a control. Such methods should include diet, drugs and exercise. “If you can combine these, you will not see any case of stroke, erectile dysfunction, blindness and many other complications diabetes often come with,” he said.
Professor Augustine Ohwovoriole, while launching the ten steps, described the state of the nation’s health care delivery system as too difficult and burdened with a lot of challenges, and could make it difficult for diabetes patients in Nigeria to achieve control. He said, to be able to follow the ten steps, laboratories must be available and well organised to offer necessary monitoring checks for diabetes.
He noted that a few laboratories in Nigeria could provide the HbAIc test recommended in the ten steps, adding that this and other tests were rather too expensive for Nigerian diabetics, who will strive to follow the guidelines effectively.
According to him, diabetes treatment is not as it should be in the country. He therefore, urged the government to, as a matter of urgency, include diabetes among the diseases covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The steps to better glucose control, as developed by Global Partnership, aimed at good glycaemia control include monitoring HbAIc every three months, in addition to regular glucose self-examination, manage hyperperglycaemia, dyslipidemia and hypertension with the same intensity, to obtain the best patient outcome.