FG to curb road accident, non-communicable diseases
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has urged health partners to support the federal government’s efforts in tackling the menace of non- communicable diseases in Nigeria noting that plans are under way to carry out survey that will ensure policy direction and planning.
The minister made this call in Abuja while speaking at the World Diabetes Foundation Nigerian Partner and Stakeholders meeting with the theme: ‘Diabetes and Non-Communicable Diseases in Nigeria – Perspectives, Challenges and Way Forward,’ organized by the Federal Ministry of Health, World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) and Strategies for Improving Diabetes Care in Nigeria (SIDAIN).
According to him, diabetics is a chronic condition that occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin or cannot use insulin and is diagnosed by observing raised levels of glucose in the blood. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas; it is required to transport glucose from the bloodstream into the body’s cell where it is used as energy.
“The most common diabetes symptoms include frequent urination, intense thirst and hunger, un usual weight loss, fatigue, cut and bruises that do not heal among others.
The Minister who was represented by the Director Public Health, FMOH, Dr. Evelyn Ngige expressed his appreciation to partners who were working with the Federal Ministry of Health on Diabetes care and prevention. He however urged more partners to come on board to fight against diabetes and other non- communicable diseases in Nigeria.
“I therefore wish to use this medium to passionately appeal to all partners to support the Federal Ministry of Health to conduct National Survey so as to establish the current prevalence of NCDs for sound policy direction and planning in Nigeria”.
He also announced that the Federal Ministry of Health had established 6 sickle cell reference centers in 6 Federal Medical centers across the Country. These were Federal Medical Centers Ebute Meta, Lagos, Federal Medical Centre Keffi, Federal Medical Center Gombe, Federal Medical Center Yenagoa, Federal Medical Center Birnin-Kebbi and Federal Medical Center Abakaleki.
In his remarks the Chairman, Local Organizing Committee, Prof. Alebiosu C.O said that the Non- Communicable Diseases (NCD) mainly diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, tuberculosis and cancer has continued to pose major health challenges in the low and middle income countries including Nigeria.
He noted, Nigeria with an estimated population of about 160 million people account for 4 million people with diabetes.
“More worrisome than the number of people with diabetes was the number of those who remained undiagnosed or untreated with about 70%-80% of the 4 million people with diabetes undiagnosed. “Diabetes undoubtedly has change the landscape of health care in Nigeria over the decades. Nigeria and other developing countries are presently in epidemiological transition from communicable to non-communicable diseases and there is need to accord higher priority to NCDs in order to prevent the looming time bomb. We expressed concerned about the growing crisis of diabetes, hypertension and other NCDs in Nigeria”.
In the same vein, the Federal Governmnet through the ministry of Health, has also expressed continued commitment in reducing mortality and morbidity resulting from road crashes towards the realization of goals of the UN decade of Action on road safety in Nigeria.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole made this known when he received on courtesy call the Special Envoy of the Secretary General of United Nation on Road Safety, Mr. Jean Todt, in Abuja.
He pointed out that some of the activities of the ministry are in line with the 5th pillar of the UN Decade of Action which include establishing and developing a formal training for paramedics in accredited institution in Nigeria with full curriculum and placement into scheme of service in the country.
“As I speak to you, we have fully equipped level 1 Trauma Centre at the National Hospital where victims with complex injuries from Road Traffic Crashes(RTC) are treated in addition to an established National auto crash integrated data system (NACRIS),which harmonizes database of RTC in the country.
“There is also a development of National Policies on Emergency Medical and National Ambulance Services in the country which the ministry has started the implementation of free treatment of victims of RTC within the first 24 hours of incident”.
Earlier, the Special Envoy of the Secretary General of United Nation on Road Safety, Mr. Jean Todt, expressed the need for Nigeria Government to enact a legislative act for road users in Nigeria, adding that it would reduce considerably accidents on Nigeria roads .