World Diabetes Day: UBTH, Sanofi storm Edo community in unprecedented campaign
Commission diabetes, hypertension clinic
Screen thousands of community members
In what could be the biggest commemoration of the World Diabetes Day event in Nigeria, thousands of people in Udo kingdom, Ovia West Local Government of Edo State, one of the country’s 36 states, trooped out earlier today to be screened for diabetes and hypertension and to witness the commissioning of the first ever diabetes and hypertension clinic (DHC) in the community.
The clinic is a support project by multinational pharmaceutical company, Sanofi in partnership with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) which also mobilised its medical staff to screen the large number of people led by the traditional ruler of the kingdom, the Iyase of Udo, HRH Patrick Igbinidu and his chiefs.
Addressing the people, the Chief Medical Director of UNTH, Prof. Darlington Obaseki said the event was organized by the hospital to mark the World diabetes Day and also to commission the diabetes and hypertension centre.
He commended the people for turning out in their large numbers and urged them to ensure they are screened for diabetes in line with the World Diabetes Day activities, adding that the hospital had mobilised its staff to also screen them for other conditions such as hypertension, oral diseases and eye problems.
He described diabetes and hypertension as the two commonest diseases seen in UBTH among adults. According to him, more than half of those who have the two diseases don’t usually know they have them and thus report to the hospital too late. The screening programme, he said, is necessary so that the diseases can be detected early enough while appropriate medical intervention is provided to avoid complications.
Prof. Obaseki expressed delight about the diabetes and hypertension centre being commissioned and commended Sanofi for its support to the hospital.
In her speech, the General Manager Rx and Country Chair, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Pharm. Folake Odediran said the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes has become a major public health concern.
“Diabetes is not only a health problem but also a development challenge. Diabetes forces many people and families into poverty due to catastrophic expenditures on treatment. It also impacts quality of life and undercut productivity.
“However, the good news is that diabetes can be effectively managed through interventions that include early diagnosis and access to quality healthcare.”
Odediran listed some barriers to effective management of diabetes such as low level of awareness about the disease, inability to access a health worker or health facility, poorly equipped health centers, inadequate number of health workers and inability to afford the cost of treatment. These barriers, she said, often prevent people to either not seek treatment or seek it too late
She described the DHC project as the company’s social responsibility initiative to help reduce the barriers of access to healthcare by bringing healthcare closer to the people.
“The DHC focuses efforts at the primary level of care and underserved population. Under our partnership with UBTH, the Comprehensive Health Center in Udo was selected as most appropriate for the DHC project.
“Having worked collaboratively with UBTH under the leadership of the CMD, we are pleased to commission the DHC at this Comprehensive Health Center in Udo to commemorate today’s World Diabetes Day.
“I am confident that this initiative will live to its purpose and serve to the benefit of the good people of Udo and Edo State,” she concluded.