There is an alarming rate of about 10 million Nigerians living with Diabetes, a disease which impairs the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin or process food for energy, and over two-thirds of the number of people living with this disease are unaware of it.
This discovery was disclosed by Dr. Mohammed Alkali, the National President of Diabetes Association of Nigeria, DAN, in his address to newsmen after inaugurating an eight-man member of Board of Trustees, Katsina State Chapter.
Vanguard news in its publication on Monday, November 4, reported that Dr Alkali who is also the Chief Medical Doctor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital stated that consistent intake of processed food, fast food and sedentary are part of the leading causes of diabetes.
“Diabetes is the leading non-communicable disease in the whole world. It is currently affecting over 430 million people, although we don’t have a verified national figure the current projection for Nigeria is that up to 10 million people are living with diabetes. And the most disturbing part of that is up-to two-thirds of those people are living with diabetes but do not even know they have the disease.
“Type two diabetes is about lifestyle and dietary habit. And that is why the World Health Organization, WHO is concerned in the sense that people should live an active life. Because things that promote the development of type two are a sedentary lifestyle. People don’t do activities and then the types of food where people take a lot of processed food and also fast foods. Those are the type of food that encourages the development of type two diabetes.
“The closer the food is to nature, the safer. What this means is Increased processing lead to an increase in the development of diabetes. if you take the orange or pineapple that is raw is healthier than when you take the processed one in a can where there are preservatives,” Dr Alkali said.
“Catch them young. In the past, in our primary and secondary schools, there is physical education. In fact, are not allowed to open schools unless they have a field for exercise and everything. But it is not the same now. And those things have to be restored so that you don’t live a sedentary lifestyle.
“On the part of DAN as the representative of Nigeria in the International Diabetes Federation, it is leading the campaign to enlighten people, to educate people and lead to screening so that people will know their status,” Dr. Alkali said.