The Diabetes Help Enlightenment Organisation on Thursday appealed to the Federal Government to assist it to establish a National Diabetes Management Centre in the country.
The founder of the group, Hajiya Aisha Burkar-Ali, made the call during a courtesy visit to the Chief Medical Director of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Dr Peter Alabi.
Bukar-Ali said the establishment of the centre would provide quality service in diabetes management.
She noted that the threat of diabetes, a non-communicable disease, had remained a serious challenge in Nigeria and called on the government to give it a serious attention.
“Government has to give serious attention to diabetes just as it does to polio and HIV and AIDS because the disease has reached an alarming rate in our society,” she said.
According to her, recent survey has shown that Nigeria has been confirmed to have the highest diabetes patients in Africa and about 63 per cent of the cases are yet to be diagnosed.
“The disease is fast growing and resulting in premature deaths, blindness, disabilities, and impotence among thousands of Nigerians.
“If nothing is done, the number of patients would increase by 2015. Government should make it a priority in its health agenda to see that diabetes is given a serious attention.
“Apart from establishing a diabetes management centre, we want the government to also subsidise diabetic drugs, especially insulin and others,” she said.
Responding, Alabi commended the organisation for the visit and said the hospital management would also play its role in educating others on the dangers of the disease.