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Diabetes: Aaron Ojule, professor of chemical pathology, wants urgent intervention for patients

Written by silvernewsng

By Ignatius Chukwu

AARON Ojule, professor of chemical pathology, has warned against complacency in handling of diabetes situation in Nigeria. Prof Ojule is a member of the board of trustees of the Diabetes Association of Nigeria (DAN), Rivers State.

The one-time chief medical officer (CMD) raised alarm last weekend at the University of Port Harcourt (UPTH) grounds where DAM members met as part of the monthly activities.

Prof Ojule raised alarm that diabetes is now an epidemic of global proportion. He told newsmen that diabetes has attacked the economies of families.

Prof Ojule said he has been associated with the DAN for over 40 years. “We were encouraged to come into the association by people like Prof Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa who was our trustee member. He is over 90 years now and mostly in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. So, we had to step into the shoe.”

He said the whole idea was to give diabetes education to people living with diabetes (PLWD) and members of their families so at the end of the day, we would have better diabetes management. 

Diabetes has become a global epidemic, he said. “Its not just Nigeria, it is an international problem and that is why we have organisations such as the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). The World Health Organisation (WHO) is involving in tracking this menace, the nations are involved, and everybody is involved.”

This, he said, is because diabetes is such an illness that when once it sets in, it affects every organ in the body and causes a lot of complications. “The economic cost has become unbearable for all economies, worse for families.

“That is why organisations like DAN are there to educate patients and families on how best to manage it and harvest latest research findings on how best to manage it. There is a lot of misinformation and complicated myths about diabetes and we are here to untangle these misinformation networks to bring out clarity for better management of the disease. We need to work with the media and more people to work with us.:

The trustee said DAN meets at the UPTH every first Saturday of every month. “When we get supplies, we share to those that need it.

Many people that have come down with diabetes do not have sufficient resources to manage it. The tests, drugs, and proper food are expensive. Average balanced diet now is over N1,000. So, diabetes patients need support.”

He queried: “If people living with HIV get free drugs, what offence have those living with diabetes committed that they can’t get help? We need a lot of support from the govt, NGOs, and individuals to fight to restore the health of patients and stop others from going down with it. Diabetes has destroyed the health of many suffers without adequate care. Many die young because of diabetes.”

His view was supported by the chairman of DAN, Rivers State, Dr Hamilton Opurum, who said major challenge was lack of adequate advocacy to create enough awareness and education. “Most persons need information about diabetes condition; they need to know whether they are at risk, and if they are not, how to keep a healthy lifestyle. If they are, they need to know how to delay the onset of diabetes. If they are already diabetic, we encourage them to manage themselves properly. This is so because besides going to hospital to get treatment, they need to manage your nutrition properly and keep fit. So, nutrition, exercise, and medical attention are all very important in the management of diabetes.”

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