People living with diabetes in Nigeria have lamented the high cost of medication and treatment for the condition .
They also decry how perceived lack of government policy worsens their condition .
This is even as experts say there are between three – andfive million people living with diabetes in the country .
Speaking with our correspondent, the South -West Chairman , Diabetes Association of Nigeria , Abdulwahab Dauda, said there was no policy for diabetes in the country .
“ The government doesn ’t even know we exist . It ’s only some of the pharmaceutical companies that support us.
“ There is no policy to support our condition in the country . We have been making moves regarding this , but, so far, we have not succeeded.
“ In some Africa countries , relevant laws enable them to have access to glucometers , but it is not the same for us in Nigeria .”
Dauda, who is also the Lagos State Chairman of DAN , said , “ Some people can ’t even afford their medication and we are trying to see how we can get to the government and how they can help our people .
“ Diabetes is ravaging the country . There are some groups of people who have it but don’ t have the means to manage it . There are people who have the means but can ’ t keep up with managing the condition and there are people who don ’t even know they have it .
“ Insulin costs nothing less than N 4 ,000 and you may use a bottle in 10 days . This is apart from other medications . So, there must be a policy to support us, especially with regard to those who can ’t afford the medication ,” Dauda said.
A professor of Medicine at the Lagos State University College of Medicine , Anthonia Ogbera , said , genetics is central to the development of type 1 diabetes .
According to her, certain genetic markers place people at risk , and such susceptible people , when exposed to some viral infections, may develop type 1 diabetes mellitus .
“ A large majority of the cases of type 1 diabetes have an autoimmune basis . It simply means the body is fighting against itself and as such , people who are known to have other autoimmune diseases are at increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes .
“ We know for a fact that having a risk factor does not necessarily translate into developing a disease condition but where multiple risk factors exist , the chances are higher . However, a small group of persons with type 1 diabetes has no known risk factor and this group is referred to as idiopathic .