National President of Diabetes Association of Nigeria (DAN), Dr Mohammed Alkali, has urged government at all levels to check the activities of traditional medicine sellers who claim to have cure for diabetes ailment.
Making the call in an interview on Tuesday in Bauchi, Alkali noted that some of these sellers had been doing incalculable damage to diabetic patients.
He said that the claim of by some of them that they had cure for diabetes was misleading and amounted to gambling with the lives of Nigerians.
According to him, apart from giving concoctions that compounds the condition of their victims, the claim of having cure also encourages the patients to abandon their drugs.
Alkali, who is also the Chief Medical Director of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, observed that most patients that had fallen victims of such deceit were often rushed to hospitals when their condition had become hopeless.
He also observed that the willingness of some broadcast media organizations to advertise the claim of the traditional medicine sellers had not helped matters.
He stressed the need for such organisations to have proof of such claims from competent health regulatory organs of government, before accepting to advertise the products.
The President also called on the appropriate media regulatory authorities, to ensure that media establishments played their social responsibility role with regards to the issue.
He however commended the media for providing the forum to educate Nigerians on the signs and symptoms of diabetes, as well as how to avoid or manage the ailment.
According to him, the latest statistics of the World Health Organisation indicates that there are over four million people in Nigeria with diabetes ailment, apart from those who have it but are not aware.
He attributed the increase in cases of diabetes ailment to the change in eating habit and lifestyle of people, adding that less dependence on natural foods, decline in physical activities occasioned by the desire for comfort, were some of the factors.
He therefore advised people to engage in regular checks to ascertain their status, warning that living with the ailment without knowing that they had it, was very dangerous.
The President said that his main focus now would be to reinvigorate the state chapters of the association to enable them discharge their duties of creating awareness on the ailment.
He said that one of the major challenges of his members was the high cost of managing the ailment and pleaded with the government to assist diabetic patients.