Medical women raise the alarm over increasing rate of diabetes among youths
Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Ondo Chapter, has raised the alarm over increasing cases of diabetes among young people.
MWAN, at a sensitisation campaign against diabetes at Oyemekun Grammar School, Akure, where it also screened over 600 students and teachers, said it was raising awareness on what needs to be done to fight the menace.
A consultant physician and endocrinologist at the University of Medical Science Teaching Hospital, Ondo and leader of the sensitisation campaign, Dr. Adenike Enikuomehin, highlighted the symptoms, risk factors and health impacts of diabetes among young people. Enikuomehin advised the government to improve school sports to aid healthy lifestyle among children.
According to her, the programme was organised to commemorate the 2021 World Diabetes Day, which is marked on November 14. This year’s theme is, ‘Access to Diabetes Care, If Not Now, When?’
She said with about 600 million adults in the world living with diabetes, the advocacy of knowing the risk and preventing diabetes among young people has become more imperative, hence, the decision to take the campaign to secondary schools.
Enikuomehin said: “Because of the prevalence of obesity across the world and decreased physical activities, especially in our schools, more young people are coming down with diabetes and we are seeing children having type 2 diabetes unlike in the past that we had just type 1.”
She recommended a healthy lifestyle, intake of fruits, regular screening, among other steps, as effective measures to prevent diabetes, as well as handle complications arising from the disease.
“From my experience managing diabetes for young people, there is this stage of denial that people think young people cannot have diabetes, even with excessive urination and weakness, repeated malaria and typhoid fever incidence.
“They believe it is a spiritual attack and instead of coming for the right treatment at the right time in the hospital, they resort to self-help, until it leads to complications like diabetes foot that might end in amputation, blindness, heart disease and stroke.
The aim is to go to schools, give them the right education about healthy eating and increased physical activities and let them know what diabetes is. If any of them has diabetes, they can report on time in the hospital before they come down with complications,” she said.
The Principal, Ogunleye Okeowo, thanked the group for the awareness, which he said broadened their knowledge on diabetes and the need to be involved in regular exercises.