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How DAN Rivers helps members – Dr Hamilton Opurum, state chairman

Written by silvernewsng

While most Nigerians swim in ignorance, an enemy seems to stalk them, devouring many. Dr Hamilton Opurum of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) and chairman, Diabetes Association of Nigeria, Rivers State chapter, told IGNATIUS CHUKWU what DAN has been doing to confront the enemy.

Can you mention key interventions or key areas DAN has helped diabetic patients?


Yes. Major area has been that of awareness creation 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.

So, a support group like the Diabetes Association of Nigeria is a national body with branches in states. It is under the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). We try to use this approach to help a lot of persons. Diabetes education and awareness are very important in the management of diabetes.

The other aspect of the activities of DAN is advocacy, trying to reach out to people in position to influence policy and direct activities that can promote good health.

Advocacy has not been successful because most times, people are in self-denial. People think it’s a personal problem. No, it is not. It a complex health issue that can affect anybody and it affects many people.

First and foremost, it affects the economy, and it affects families. When complications set in, the man of the family may develop erectile dysfunctions, organ failures which frustrate families and system. Drugs are expensive, so the income of a family is greatly affected. There is need for everybody to understand this.

So, when we advocate for support, its because we want to reach out to as many families and patients as possible so we can create a healthier society. Networking is very important. There is need for Nigerians and groups to come together to fight this serious health threat to the nation. All hands should be on deck on this.

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