Self-monitoring Can Prevent Diabetes Complications, Says Expert

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Martins Ifijeh

Amidst studies showing that more than 70 per cent of Nigerians living with diabetes remain undiagnosed and only a few of the diagnosed who are under management, achieve control of their blood glucose, experts have advocated full involvement of patients through self-monitoring to prevent some of the increasing complications and deaths being recorded from the condition in the country.

In a chat with journalists on the current situation on diabetes management in Nigeria, the Marketing Manager of Roche Diabetes Care, Mr. Adeniyi Adeola regretted that many people living with diabetes are not achieving and maintaining recommended target glucose level due to ignorance both on the part of patients and care givers.

According to him, people living with diabetes in Nigeria are faced with peculiar problems which make the management of the condition and expected blood sugar control (referred to as glycemic control in medical parlance) rather difficult.

“Financial constraints have been recognized as a major factor in the management of diabetes as the nation’s health insurance scheme does not currently cater for a majority of patients and they have to pay out-of-pocket for their blood glucose test strips.”

In another presentation, the Regional Sales Manager, Roche Diabetes Care, Mubarak Gyedu disclosed that current diabetes management should focus on personalised care and should include, Structured Education, Self-Monitoring of blood Glucose, Decision Support, Data Evaluation, Therapy and, Data Assessment.

Unfortunately, he noted, many care givers in Nigeria, after self-monitoring of blood glucose if at all recommended, progress straight to therapy, leaving out the use of decision support tools which would have helped harness information from the glucometers used by patients which would have furnished the healthcare providers with enough information to optimise therapy, and empower patients to know the impact of food, medication and activities on their blood glucose readings.

“If self-monitoring of blood glucose is well done, a lot of money can be saved while the patient will be saved the ordeal of being placed on a therapy they may not need,” he said.

He added that Roche has Decision Support tools such as the Accu-Chek paper tool 360 View and the Accu-Chek SmartPix Software, which help provide better engagement between the caregivers and the patient, allows for quick therapeutic decisions on the part of the caregivers, and optimisation of therapy.