Nasarawa State chapter, has appealed on government at all levels and stakeholders to give more attention to diabetes as they have given to HIV/AIDS.
The Chairman of the association in the state, Mr Umar Sadiq, made the appeal on Tuesday at an event to mark the 2017 World Diabetes Day in Lafia.
“We are appealing that government and other stakeholders should assist diabetic patients through the association by providing medication and financial support to relieve them of the burden of treatment.
“Diabetes, like HIV/AIDS, has no known cure but can only be managed with medication and diet, which oftentimes drain the patients of their resources,” Sadiq said.
He said the association, in collaboration with the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia, was conducting free blood sugar and blood pressure tests for the public.
Sadiq said that the association was also giving free medication to their members to commemorate the 2017 celebration.
The DAN chairman appealed to the public to always check their blood sugar level.
He advised those confirmed to have the disease to join the association in order to be properly guided on how to manage it.
“The membership of the association is not encouraging, but we know that there are lots of people living with the disease ignorantly while some are dying in silence,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Chibuzor Ndubuka, Consultant Family Physician, DASH, said the theme for this year’s celebration, “Women and Diabetes: Our Right to a Healthy Future,” was apt.
Ndubuka, said the theme was suitable, considering the effect of the disease on women, especially expectant mothers and their children.
He stressed the need for women to be knowledgeable about the disease, given its associated complications for the mother and the unborn child.
“Babies born of a diabetic mother can have very low blood sugar after birth which will affect the brain of the baby since the brain depends solely on glucose to develop.
“Babies could even be malformed with body parts growing out of proportion and making normal delivery through the birth canal difficult,” Ndubuka said.
He advised pregnant women to be sure of their status and ensure they were managed adequately in order to deliver healthy babies.