Complications prompt diagnosis for four in five people living with diabetes in Nigeria


In Nigeria, eight out of ten (80%) individuals with diabetes only discovered they had the disease after experiencing difficulties. Furthermore, nearly all (94%) of the nation’s survey respondents reported having dealt with one or more diabetes-related problems at some point in their lives.

This findings is from a global research recently carried out by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). The survey was conducted among people living with diabetes across Africa, Asia, Europe and South America to understand the level of awareness and impact of diabetes-related complications.

Diabetes-related complications can be serious and, in some cases, life-threatening. They include damage to the heart, eyes, kidneys and feet. The risk of complications places significant stress on people living with diabetes. More than half (55%) of respondents in Nigeria say they worry most days about developing diabetes-related complications.

The risk of complications can be significantly reduced through early detection, timely treatment and informed self-care. When asked about preventing their complications, four out of five respondents (82%) in Nigeria believe they could have done more; more than half (57%) think their healthcare provider could have done more.

Osarenkhoe Ethel Chima-Nwogwugwu, who lives with Type 2 Diabetes, said: “It is shocking to see so many people in Nigeria only find out about their condition after experiencing a complication.

The likelihood of type 2 diabetes is increased by a number of risk factors. These include past medical history, weight, age, ethnicity, lack of exercise, and diabetes during pregnancy, some of which can be mitigated by engaging in a nutritious diet and regular exercise. Therefore, it’s critical to increase knowledge and awareness of the risk factors in order to promote early detection, prevention, and prompt treatment.

Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for over 90% of all diabetes, often develops silently, with symptoms that go unnoticed. As a result, many people with the condition, more than 50% in some countries, are not diagnosed and, as the research suggests, complications are already present. The most common complications experienced among survey respondents in Nigeria were depression (55%), along with eye (40%), foot (40%), and oral health (40%) problems.

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