The Diabetes Help Enlightenment Organisation (DHEO), an NGO, has called for synergy between the government and private organisations to enlighten Nigerians on diabetes.
Mrs. Ijeoma Nwankwo, the Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, made the call on Thursday in Abuja, at an event to mark the World Diabetes Day (WDD).
Nwankwo, who doubles as the President of Precious Diabetes Foundation, said the synergy was important to provide Nigerians the knowledge that would empower them to fight the disease.
“People in the health sector view diabetes as being caused by too much stress; some see it as a disease caused by sugar, yet many Nigerians give little attention to that.
“Today is world diabetes day, and if not for DHEO that is organising this awareness/campaign, I do not think the Ministry of Health is doing anything to create awareness on diabetes.
“ A lot of CSOs and other organisations that should be putting efforts and paying attention to diabetes fight care less; and so this disease is on the increase and is creating a lot of problems for humanity.
“ I want to emphasise that government and individual organisations should put heads together and create more awareness on the knowledge of what will empower people against this disease,’’ he stressed.
According to her, if CSOs, foundations and the government are not working hard to create awareness and to give people the needed knowledge on what diabetes is all about, individual efforts may not produce required results.
Nwankwo advised Nigerians to always arm themselves with health information, stressing that was the first step in preventing any disease.
According to Dr. Serfiya Ajayi, Director Planning for DHEO, the organisation basically seeks to create awareness for people living with diabetes, stressing the need for the government to take a holistic look into the disease.
“Our aim is to create awareness for people living with diabetes, care givers, and members of family that have this disease
“We are doing this through the observance of the World Diabetes Day, which is marked globally Nov. 14; we are pleading with the media to do the awareness for us.
“Government should lay more emphasis on this deadly disease called diabetes, as it is doing for HIV,’’ Ajayi said.
She, however, noted that funded was a major impediment for the organisation to expand its diabetes campaign to other states of the federation.
Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
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