World Diabetes Day: Experts Advocate Inclusion of Diabetes Under NHIS

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–  As Sanofi holds 2018 diabetes summit

Leading healthcare experts, including  Professor of Medicine & Endocrinology, Jean Claude Mbanya; Professor of Diabetes Metabolism, Abdelrahim Aly; Professor of Medicine & Consultant Physician, Babatope Kolawole; and General Manager/Country Chair, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Pharm. Folake Odediran, have called  for a comprehensive coverage of diabetes in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

According to the experts, having diabetes under the NHIS will be of great help to people living with the condition and help ensure patients are able to achieve desired diabetes control, in line with international guidelines.

L-R: Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde, Cameroun,Jean Claude Mbanya(left); Professor of Diabetes Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine Alexandria University Egypt, Abdelrahim Aly, General Manager, Rx and Country Chair, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana Folake Odediran and Head, Department of Medicine, College of Health Sciences,Obafemi Awolowo University,Ile Ife, Professor Babatope Kolawole at the Summit.

The experts’ position was contained in a communique issued at the end of a one-day summit held at Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, courtesy of Sanofi, and graced by leading experts in diabetes management, as well as other stakeholders in healthcare.

The experts explained that the NHIS coverage of diabetes should include screening/diagnosis, treatment, and management of complications often associated with the condition and provision of essential drugs for patients.

With this year’s theme tagged :”The Family and Diabetes”, they warned that diabetes has assumed pandemic proportions worldwide in terms of prevalence, morbidity and mortality, especially in developing countries, with poor healthcare infrastructure and funding, like Nigeria.

They charged the government to begin to formulate policies that will help address the increasing challenge of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), while also strengthening the health systems, especially at the Primary Health Care (PHC) level, to improve the capacity of primary care physicians to provide care to patients at that level.

The experts also reiterated the need for the education of media practitioners and collaboration between them and healthcare professionals.

In her welcome remarks at the event, tagged “Sanofi Diabetes Summit 2018,” Pharm. Folake Odediran, said that Sanofi is committed to high standards in providing healthcare solutions for the prevention and management of a broad spectrum of medical conditions.

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While noting that diabetes remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria, Odediran noted that various stakeholders are making tremendous contributions in their respective spheres of influence to improve treatment outcomes.

She stated that gaps still exists in terms of policy direction, public awareness, advocacy, patient education, diagnosis, infrastructure and overall capacity of the healthcare system to effectively manage diabetes, but added that the diabetes summit was born out of the need to support existing efforts at addressing these gaps.

Sanofi, Odediran said, will continue to prioritise public-private partnerships and initiatives that support speedy attainment of universal health coverage for diabetes patients.

She noted that the theme of the summit “Personalising Diabetes Care” underscores the company’s conviction that effective diabetes care must be patient-centered and must take input from all players. She added that Sanofi expanded participants at the summit to accommodate more policymakers, health insurance managers, patient advocacy groups, healthcare funders, supply chain logisticians, as well as professionals in quality assurances and digital technology to ensure robust conversation.

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