Speaking during the 38th scientific conference and annual general meeting of the of Endocrine and Metabolism Society of Nigeria in Calabar, Cross River, Feyi Adegoke, the society’s president, disclosed that alcoholic drinks, smoking, consumption of fast food among other activities contribute to the increased rate of type 2 diabetes in the country.
“The metropolitan cities have the highest rate of diabetes and that is because people are tending more towards Western lifestyle of consuming more alcoholic drinks, smoking, consumption of fast foods and others. These are some of the things that drive the epidemic we are seeing,” she said.
Adegoke who said that residents in the urban areas of the country, are at higher risk of diabetes than those in the rural areas, noted that no fewer than five million Nigerians are currently suffering from type 2 diabetes.
The doctor said one in every 10 adults in Nigeria has ‘type 2’ diabetes and more people are at the risk of suffering from it in years to come.
“Currently in Nigeria, no fewer than five million people are suffering from diabetes type 2. This number will increase to about 10 million in the next 10 years.”
15 million people, she said, are suffering from diabetes in Africa and the number would spike to 30 million in 2025.
She also advised that diabetes could be prevented through reduction of sugar intakes like canned drinks, putting a stop to tobacco smoking and incorporating healthy meals into their diets.
According to a report by TheCable News, Mohammed Alkali, president, Diabetes Association of Nigeria (DAN), in a recent interview revealed frightening statistics and worse still, said there was little research being done on the disease.
The doctor said the situation is particularly grave considering that there are many undiagnosed diabetes patients in Nigeria and also because the disease affects old and infant alike.
He said: “We are looking at the current situation where we have an overwhelming majority of Nigerians living with diabetes. We currently have about five million Nigerians that are living with diabetes and the most scary thing is that about 1.56 million where discovered in 2015 alone.
“This indicates that we have a lot of undiagnosed diabetes patients in the country. We also have to deal with young people living with diabetes in the country. We have juvenile diabetes now in Nigeria; it is an emerging disease. You will see people that are less than 17 years being diagnosed.
“In fact, we have seen cases of people diagnosed of diabetes at infancy. This is really scary because the issue of diabetes is that it is not only a disease that is just sugar but the complications. You have issues of it affecting the eyes, kidney, hypertension, foot disease and heart disease. The recent studies indicate that out of the people living with diabetes in Nigeria, 9.5 percent of them have diabetes ulcers.
“Diabetes ulcer is the extreme of diabetic foot disease. Before it reaches ulcer, it passes through a stage, and remain in that stage for two to three years before getting to the ulcer stage. So if research has been done to cover those early stages, the percentage would have been reduced. If you apply that percentage with the population of infected people, we will be talking of a large number of people living with diabetes ulcers.”