Only quite a while back, the majority of the numbers of COVID-19 deaths recorded in Nigeria were believed to be due to complications from underlying conditions, for example, hypertension and diabetes.
The Minister of Health at the time, Osagie Ehanire, who disclosed this during the President's Daily Briefing on COVID-19, said that about 70% of the recorded deaths were from people over the age of 60.
According to him, "The numbers of deaths we have with COVID-19, 70% of them have high blood pressure or diabetes and the rest are kidney disease, HIV, cancer, tuberculosis and other problems.”
Since then, there has been tension in Nigeria that the amount of hypertension and diabetes cases is on the increase and could twofold by 2045 if drastic measures are not taken to address the scare.
The Clinical Chief, Duchess Global Clinic Ikeja, Lagos, Dr. Doyin Dosunmu-Ogunbi, was among experts who made the apocalyptic hypertension and diabetes postulation.
He called for stern endeavors of significant partners and the public authority to forestall the degenerative sickness.
Identified as the most common and deadly diseases
Diabetes and high blood pressure are identified as the most common and deadly diseases in Nigeria, killing up to 30 people every day, but awareness is as low as 17.4%,despite statistics showing that approximately 11.2 million people (1 in 17 adults) have the condition.
These are the main non-communicable diseases that affect a large part of the country's population.
“Conclusions from the study of death patterns show that 30% of men and women fall into this category and about 70% of deaths are people over 60, while most of the victims are 29 to 49-year-olds," said the minister during COVID-19.
Considered a common condition?
Although it is considered a common condition in Nigeria and is managed in primary, secondary, and tertiary health facilities and public health facilities in the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned about the increasing rate of hypertension and diabetes in the African region, affecting more than 46% of adults aged 25 and over.
According to Dr. Dosunmu-Ogunbi, "We realize that we have 11m Nigerians living with diabetes. However, we likewise realize that presumably no less than 11 additional million individuals what's more have diabetes that has not been analyzed.
“We accept that 22 million Nigerians have diabetes. We likewise realize that there are around 20m Nigerians with prediabetes, which is marginal diabetes.
“It would cost us basically a trillion naira to furnish treatment to unfortunate Nigerians as of now with diabetes, discuss of when (true to form) the numbers rise a lot further.”
Poverty not helping patients
Diabetes mellitus is thought to be caused by a relative lack of insulin, the hormone that controls the body's use of glucose.
But in Enuagu Onicha, under Onicha local government in Ebonyi state, during the free health program organized by a non-governmental organization, the Achieje Foundation, in 2022, Dr. Okoronkwo Chita from Alex Ekwueme Federal University Hospital, Abakaliki (AE-FUTHA), spoke about hunger, lack of care, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, malaria, and other common problems in the country caused by poverty.
According to data, "There isn’t any contradiction that the excessive fee of diabetes remedy in Nigeria has caused a boom of deaths among citizens with the sickness in latest instances.
“The fee of medication and diagnoses for diabetes has posed a tremendous assignment as over 0.33 of the populace of the sufferers cannot afford the money to shop for the medication and take good care at themselves."
Citizens unaware they have diabetes
Dr. Chita was in good company in the view that poverty helps the sicknesses, such that other clinical specialists have said that numerous Nigerians living with hypertension, diabetes, and other persistent medical problems know nothing about their ailments because of destitution.
They warned that the citizens are in danger of serious difficulties. The specialists said it has become basic for Nigerians to embrace standard health checks something like two times every year in any event, when they have no side effects of any ailment.
Changed diet, diabetes worldwide to double to 1.3 billion
As if that wasn't enough, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that the number of people with diabetes worldwide will double to 1.3 billion by the year 2050. And the irony it was by force leading to racism in form and inequality between nations.
Although various experts have the opinion of condemning poverty and the rise of high blood pressure and diabetes among Nigerians, Liane Ong, a senior research scientist at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and the author of one of the studies on the issues, said one thing in those words is how food has changed.
According to her, "In the last 30 years, some people in the world have really moved from eating habits - maybe eating more fruits and vegetables, eating healthy vegetables - go to processed foods.
"The work is that we don't really see the kind of intervention that will bring everything back. Instead, preventing diabetes will require long-term planning, money and interest from international sites across the world."
Need for diabetes education
Commemorating the 2022 World Diabetes Day, the Nigeria Minister of State for Health on the time, Ekumankama Joseph Nkama, on 14 November, emphasized the need for diabetes education among some of the population.
He said it was important to the prevention and control of the disease.
Those who know better say that The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) acknowledges that this persistent illness, that is assuming epidemic proportions in Nigeria calls for control, primarily based totally on a country's guiding principle.
"This has informed the Federal Ministry of Health’s choice to broaden a guiding principle so one can make sure of standardized hospital treatment and affected person self-control training to prevent acute headaches and decrease the threat of long-time period debility from the disease," the source said.
Onwumere writes from Rivers State via: [email protected]