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Imo State Government said it has concluded plans towards the establishment of a research centre that would monitor and manage diabetic patients in the state.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Udokwu stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as part of the programmes to commemorate the 2019 Diabetes Day in Imo.
He said the centre when in place would help the state conduct free screening and manage diabetes cases in the state and its environs.
He said with the centre, the government through the ministry of health, would be able to have a statistics of people suffering from the disease after the screening that would be take place in different zones of the state.
Udokwu noted that diabetes has a hereditary component and affects people that are overwieght, take excess sugar, smokes and drinks a lot.
He said as part of the activities marking this year’s World Diabetes Day, the ministry had embarked on awareness creation and sensitisation of the people through news talk, and ‘Walk for Life.’
He said the ministry with colloborating agencies would embark on Walk for Life next week to drive home the issue and challenges associated with diabetes.
The commissioner described the World Diabetes Day as a Day set aside by the World Health Organisation, International Diabetes Foundation and other International Agencies working on diabetes, to create awaereness on diabetes and commemorate people living with diabetes globally.
He said it was estimated that over 382 million people throughout the world had diabetes, while in 2014 the number of people living with diabetes, world wide, rose to 422 million adding that over 500 million cases of type 2 diabetes exists worldwide.
He idenitified the two types of diabetes as Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes and the warning signs as frequent urination, unusual thirst, constant hunger, unsual weight loss, blurry vision, and extreme fatigue aside others.
Udokwu said the earlier a person is diagnosed, the earlier treatment could be initiated in order to reduce the risk of harmful and costly complications.
According to him, diabetes could be prevented by adopting a simple and healthy lifestyle which include maintaining a healthy body weight, indulging in physical fitness activities like brisk walks and jogging, eating healthy diet with more of vegetables and fruits and less of sugars and saturated fats.
“Our non-communicable Diseases unit which oversees diabetes matters and other non-comminicable diseases such as cancers, has been strenghtened by Gov. Emeka Ihedioha, to ensure that awareness creation and public enlightenment about the many silent diseases is continously carried out,” he said.
The commissioner called on everyone to ensure that they regularly undergo screening for diabetes through checking of the blood sugar levels (Fasting Blood Sugar Test and Glucose Tolerance Tests) to avoid the complications that result from undiagnosed cases of diabetes.