One Million Amputations Occur in People with Diabetes Yearly

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Martins Ifijeh

Due to the high consumption of sugar, over one million people fall victim to leg amputation, with one out of every 10 Nigerians likely to be victims of diabetes, a Consultant, Endocrinologist, Dr. AfokeIsiavwe has said.

She said with about 50 per cent of the population unaware they were living with diabetes, there was need for everyone to avoid the risk factors of the scourge, which she said could lead to amputation.

“Worldwide over one million amputations occur with people with diabetes every year and every second, a limb is lost to diabetes. Patients with diabetes are at 15 – 40 folds higher risk of a lower limb amputation than non-diabetic patients,” she said.

While speaking at the World Diabetes Day held recently in Lagos, she stressed that research shows that about half of newly presented patients with type II diabetes already have one or more complications like foot problem, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney and eye problem, at diagnosis due to late presentation.”

She advises that people living with diabetes should take extra care of their health and check their feet everyday for colour changes, red spots, cuts, swelling, blisters, numbness and choose their foot wears appropriately, while also avoiding walking around without shoes.

“I am also advising Nigerians to screen for diabetes and its complication because early detection would help avoid poor outcome and reduce amputation from diabetes,” she added.
Also lending her voice, the Strategic Accounts Manager for Diabetes Care, Roche Diabetes Care, Mrs. Folashade Olufemi-Ajayi appealed to the government to make a policy that would mandate checking of blood glucose any time patients access health facilities just as blood pressure is checked. “Then we will be able to detect early those people in their pre-diabetes stage or are down with diabetes, as this will reduce further progression into complications.

“Diabetes patients should always do self monitoring of their glucose level so as to enable them achieve appropriate metabolic control and avoid the risk of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia,” she added.

Meanwhile, the chairman Diabetes Association of Nigeria (DAN) Lagos Chapter, Mr. Hameed Abiodun Afinowi, said the challenges people living with diabetes face in the country were enormous, as the prices of their medications like Insulin, gluco-meter and the stripes were way too expensive and exorbitant for patients.

He therefore urged the government to subsidise and reduce the cost of their medications in order to arrest the menace of the disease in the Nigeria.