The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has said that plans are underway for Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) to screen and treat diabetes and hypertension across the country.
The minister made this known in Abuja recently while declaring open the fourth Pan- African Diabetic Foot Study Group Conference and the Advance Course on Diabetic Foot/ Podiatry organised by the Pan-African Diabetic Foot Study Group in collaboration with World Diabetes Foundation and Mark Anumah Medical Mission.
Adewole said: “We will go beyond screening of diabetes at the teaching hospitals but we want to mainstream it in our primary healthcare centers.
“As we are implementing the basic healthcare provision funds in PHC in this year’s budget, we want to offer care to Nigerians in the primary healthcare level, where the large number of population received medical care,” he said.
The minister said that the situation where everyone goes to teaching hospitals would not help the Nigerian health system.
He further explained that the federal government would conduct a survey this year to determine the number of people affected with such diseases.
“We want to know how many people have the problem so that government can provide care for them appropriately”, he said
In his remarks, chairman of the occasion, and the President, Association of Reproductive Health, Prof. Oladipo Ladipo, said Nigeria has the largest population in Africa and indirectly has the largest number of diabetic patients in Sub-Sahara Africa.
He said Nigerian doctors, nurses, and orthopedic surgeon must work together to ensure that diabetic foot was reduced to the barest minimum.
Ladipo said that more than 120 delegates converged from various parts of Africa to discuss way forward on diabetic foot /podiatry.
He emphasised that Nigeria must develop another way to manage non- communicable diseases.
In her presentation, the Chairperson, Local Organising Committee, Prof. Felicia Anumah of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital said that diabetes had become pandemic and would lead to increase of diabetic foot.
She said the disease is silent until it sets up complications, has high economic cost and difficult to manage when the case is presented lately.
“50 per cent of the patients present their cases when the only option is amputation”, she said.
She called on general public to always visit healthcare providers for checkup if there is any pain in the feet.