OGUN, Nigeria – An expert in diabetes care Dr Ejiofor Ugwu has asserted that about 30 to 50 per cent of diabetes patients in Nigeria with foot ulcers eventually get their feet amputated due to poor care.
He made the assertion Wednesday during the opening ceremony of the 2019 world diabetes day celebration and national diabetes workshop organized by the Diabetes Association of Nigeria (DAN) with the theme ” Improving Diabetes Care in Nigeria” held at Peter Akinola foundation, Abeokuta, Ogun state.
According to him, diabetes foot ulcers account for 12 to 25 per cent commonest reason for admission after hyperglycemic emergencies adding that they also account for the longest duration of hospitalization of the patients.
” Diabetes foot ulcer is a serious, potentially disabling and life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus. Nigeria has one of the worst diabetes foot ulcer outcomes in the world with high amputation rates and deaths.
” Majority of diabetes foot ulcers are preventable through education, risk factor identification card timely intervention”. He stated.
Ugwu recommended massive foot care education, foot examination every three months and provision of foot care facilities as some of the measures to mitigate amputation of limbs among diabetics.
In her lecture, another expert Grace Adekoya said diabetes is a non-communicable disease that has attained great significance in the sub-Saharan region with Nigeria being the most affected.
She noted that the disease places extra burden on the individuals and families affected ‘are unable to access quality health care thereby reducing their life expectancy and quality of life’.
She advised diabetics on self-care saying healthy eating, good meal timing habits, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, proper use of medication and self-monitoring of glucose are some of the ways of managing the disease.
Earlier in his address, the national president of the Diabetes Association of Nigeria (DAN) Dr Mohammed Alkali who is also the Chief Medical Director of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi explained that the event was organized to educate diabetics on how to properly cope with the disease to avoid complications.
” DAN is concerned with the promotion of good health and socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians living with diabetes. The organization’s intention and campaign are to create awareness for urgent need for action on health and promote the welfare of our present and future generation backed by legislation”. He said