Biofem Offers Free Diabetes Screening to 20,000 Lagosians

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Calls for healthy lifestyle against the silent killer

By Martins Ifijeh

As part of efforts to reduce the burden of diabetes in Nigeria, Biofem Pharmaceuticals has embarked on free blood glucose screening and awareness exercise for 20,000 residents of Lagos State.

The campaign, which started last Tuesday in four designated centres across the state, including Computer Village Ikeja; Trade Fair Aspamda; Ikotun; and Victoria Island, is one of Biofem’s activities to commemorate this year’s World Diabetes Day marked every November 14.

Incidentally, November 14th is the Managing Director, Biofem, Femi Soremekun’s birthday.
Stating this in a press briefing recently to announce the screening and awareness campaign, the Head of Marketing, Biofem, Usifo Augustine said the organisation decided to raise awareness on the disease because many Nigerians were dying from the silent killer, while several others who are living with it are not aware they are.

He said: ‘’That is why we have, in conjunction with our partners in South Korea, SD Biosensor, secured a very unique and smart blood glucose machine called Codefree Blood Glucose Monitor, which we uses for our screening exercises.’’

He lamented that more than half of those living with diabetes in the country were not aware hence the high number of deaths occasioned by the disease.

According to him, ‘’we have been championing campaigns on diabetes because we realised government’s body language seems to favour causes on communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis. And we feel that because diabetes is a very insidious disease, it is actually killing us more than these communicable diseases.

‘’We are encouraging people to come out and get screened because that is the only way to know their status whether they are normal, pre-diabetic, or diabetic. Those pre-diabetic can actually reverse themselves back and become normal again me. For those who do not bother to check, once they move from pre-diabetic stage to diabetic stage, it means they have signed a lifetime marriage with the disease condition, and that is part of what we hope to avoid through our various interventions,” he stated.

He called on Nigerians to avoid risky behaviours fueling diabetes, adding that those with genetic predisposition must embrace healthy lifestyles so they do not come down with the disease later in life.
‘’Sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, smoking, drinking, among others are major risk factors for diabetes. Age and obesity are risk factor. Gestational diabetes is also a risk factor, but with healthy living, the possibility of coming down with it is very slim,’’ he said.

Augustine warned Nigerians not to overload themselves while eating, adding that it was better to eat lower portions of food frequently than eating heavy, “because the body is better at managing the foods we give it. We should eat more of complex carbohydrate that takes time for the body to breakdown, than the several processed foods we eat, as these could affect the blood sugar level of the body negatively,’’ he warned.