ABUJA – (Federal Ministry of Health Report) – The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole (Prof) has said that plans are underway for Primary Healthcare Centres to screen and treat diabetes and hypertension. He made this known in Abuja, while declaring open the 4th Pan-African Diabetic Foot Study Group Conference and the Advance Course on Diabetic Foot / Podiatry organized by the Pan-African Diabetic Foot Study Group in collaboration with the World Diabetes Foundation and Mark Anumah Medical Mission.
Isaac Adewole disclosed that the ministry desires to go beyond the screening of diabetes at the Teaching Hospitals and hopes to mainstream it in the Primary Healthcare Centres. According to him, the Government will implement the basic healthcare provision funds in PHCs in this year’s budget, in order to offer care to Nigerians in the Primary Healthcare level where the larger number of population receives medical care.
The Health Minister informed that the situation where everyone visits the Teaching Hospitals for medication would not help the Nigerian health system, explaining that the Federal Government would conduct a survey this year to determine the number of people affected with such diseases.
“We want to know how many people have the problem so that the government can provide care for them appropriately,” he stated.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Oladipo Ladipo (Prof), who is the President of the Association of Reproductive Health said that Nigeria has the largest population in Africa and indirectly has the largest number of diabetic patients in the Sub-Saharan Africa. He also called on Nigerian doctors, nurses and orthopaedic surgeons to work together towards ensuring that the prevalence of diabetic foot is being reduced to the barest minimum.
Oladapo Ladipo observed that as more than 120 delegates converge from various parts of Africa to discuss the way forward on diabetic foot / podiatry, Nigeria must develop another way of managing non-communicable diseases.
In her presentation, the Chairperson of the Local Organizing Committee, Felicia Anumah (Prof) of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital said that diabetes has become pandemic and would lead to increase in diabetic foot in the country. She stressed that the disease is always silent, until it sets up its complications, noting that it poses high economic costs and it’s difficult to manage when the case is presented lately.
While decrying the fact that 50 percent of the patients present their cases when the only option is amputation, she called on the general public to always visit healthcare providers for check up whenever they experience any pain on their feet.