…To train Nigerian doctors on diabetes treatment
Hope may soon come the way of diabetes patients in Nigeria as a US-based hospital, PreHab Diabetes Services, has pledged to build hospitals in different geo-political zones of the country to help manage high burden of diabetes in the country.
Besides, the hospital has offered to train Nigerian doctors in its US-based facility on treatment of diabetes.
The effort will ensure prompt diagnosis, treatment of patients, while doctors trained by the hospital will acquire more skills needed to deal with the disease, Founder/Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Robert Tate, said at a National Diabetes Symposium in Abuja yesterday.
Tate told NHO: “We’ve developed a Nigerian diabetes initiative. We want to take Nigerian physician to the US to train them, to bring them back so that they can train other Nigerians. After we do that, we want to develop clinics here, equipped to American medical standard to be able to treat patients. And, through the clinics, we will provide all testing supplies and medicines.
“Training for the programme will take three months. Each group will consist of three physicians to train for three months and then come back. When they return, we will send another group and it will continue. We are collaborating with the ministry (of health) They will set up a committee to nominate the physicians, and then, they will go.
“The Association on Diabetes states that without testing, without proper diagnosis, without medicines, it is impossible to treat any patient with diabetes,” he added.
He said the programme would be carried out in collaboration with the Diabetic Association of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Health, while the parties and private sector would fund the training.
“Our ultimate goal is to have a clinic in all of Nigeria’s key strategic regions. We will also have a teaching hospital where we can teach not only Nigerian physician, but physicians around Africa. We want Nigeria to have authority in diabetic management in Africa.
The ultimate of the programme is to have a decrease in cases of diabetes in Nigeria, as he informed that his facility had been able to manage diabetes in America that there had been no amputation of patients’ legs for 30 years.
A Professor of Medicine, Endocrinology and immediate past president, Diabetics Association of Nigeria, Sunny Chinenye, said at the event that diabetes remained a big scourge in the country.
He said the World Health statistics showed that Nigeria has the highest diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa, adding that diabetes of all types are important to people in the country, and that they are all increasing in the nation.
“We are concerned. The burden is much. A lot of people are coming down with complications. We want to institute measures so that we detect diabetes early and manage it. When we can detect it early, we can manage it. Patients will live very well with it, instead of dying from it.
“Currently, the average prevalence of diabetes in Nigeria is about 4.3. I can tell you that among overweight Nigeria, it is as high as 30 percent. Among Nigerians who are obese, it is high as 19 percent. So, it is increasing. Among the pregnant women, there is a study we’ve just concluded which shows that it is 15.2 percent,” Chinenye said.
He added that people who have diabetes and eventually go for amputation spend up to N1.5 million, and that 70 percent of those with complications have their legs amputated.