Thursday, 7 November 2013






Tuesday, 29 October 2013


The importance of healthy living cannot be overemphasized.There is a popular saying that a man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools. It is said that he who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything.

Healthy living should be a habit and over time,its positive effects on health become obvious.
Live healthy and less trips are made to the doctors.
Live healthy and on the long run,it saves money.
Regular exercise and eating healthy are some components of healthy living and are easy to do.All that is needed is determination.

Eating healthy and regular exercise go a long way in preventing being overweight and obese.

They are important aspects in the management of chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes.

With the importance of healthy living at the back of our minds,we at The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community (NGDOC) decided to go on a healthy living campaign.
Randomly,we chose the ancient city of Abeokuta,the capital of Ogun State and Sagamu, a semi-urban local government area in Ogun State.

The aim of this campaign was to interact with as many people as possible,have an idea of what they consider to be components of healthy living,understand their views,learn from them and impart some knowledge about healthy living as it relates to obesity and diabetes.
The people of Abeokuta were receptive and willing to share.Most importantly,they were willing to learn.
We spoke to people individually and in groups,and I must say for me,the experience was fun and enlightening.

Topics covered included Healthy eating and the importance of exercise.

I spoke to a 65 year old grandmother who exercises regularly and eats healthy.Not looking bad for her age right?  

We also talked about Diabetes and its types and we realized that a lot of work still needs to be done in raising awareness for diabetes.We did try in our capacity to enlighten them as much as time would permit on how healthy living may on the long run reduce the risk of developing obesity and diabetes and how healthy living is important in the management of diabetes.

Most of them were all ears,and we were glad!Some people requested us to come back for another campaign in Abeokuta.

They obviously understand than knowledge is power.
We at The NGDOC intend to take the healthy living campaign to as many places as possible.

If you'd like us to visit a particular place,please let us know.We'll be glad to come and say hi.
Good health isn't something that can be bought.You can however increase your chances of having good health by living healthy.
Make a positive change in your lifestyle today.

For more information you can contact us on, follow us @theNGdoc and visit our website

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Uncontrolled Diabetes and its Complications

Uncontrolled Diabetes and its complications

If blood sugar is consistently high, over time it can affect the heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and other parts of the body. Most people living with uncontrolled diabetes don't realize that they have a higher chance to suffer from certain conditions until the symptoms begin to manifest. These other conditions that manifest along side diabetes are often referred to as Complications of diabetes.

Factors that increase the risk of developing complications include: Excessive alcohol intake, Smoking, Obesity, Lack of regular exercise.

Uncontrolled diabetes affects many major organs, including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes and kidneys and when this occurs, it can lead to certain conditions such as:
Heart diseases and Stroke; Retinopathy and Eye complications; Kidney Diseases; Foot ulcers and Infections.
Other diabetes related conditions are: skin infections, sores and itching; dental diseases e.g. Gingivitis, periodontitis; Dementia and depression, hearing loss etc.

Uncontrolled Diabetes and the respiratory system:

  The effects of protective proteins on the surface of the lungs are neutralized leading to a higher risk of influenza, pneumonia, tuberculosis.

Uncontrolled Diabetes and the Genitourinary system: 

    Women with Uncontrolled diabetes are said to face a higher risk of urinary tract infections and these are relatively more difficult to treat.

Relationship between Uncontrolled Diabetes and certain heart conditions:

    The term "Diabetic Heart Disease" (DHD) refers to heart disease that develops in people who have Uncontrolled diabetes. Examples of heart conditions involved in DHD include: Diabetic Cardiomyopathy (enlargement of the heart muscles) , Heart failure (a condition in which the heart fails to function as a pump), Coronary Heart disease (narrowing of the blood vessels that supply oxygen rich blood to the heart) etc.

Effect on blood vessels and nerves:

    Damage to blood vessels that nourish nerves causes tingling, numbness, burning or pain that usually begins at the tips of the toes or fingers.

Effect on the kidneys:

      Uncontrolled diabetes can damage the delicate filtering system of the kidneys and can lead to kidney failure or irreversible end-stage kidney disease.

Effect on the eyes:

      Diabetic retinopathy potentially leads to blindness and increases the risk of other serious vision conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma.

Effect on the skin, gums, feet and other organs:

Uncontrolled Diabetes may leave one more susceptible to skin problems, including bacterial and fungal infections.
Nerve damage in the feet or poor blood flow to the feet increases the risk of various foot complications e.g. blisters and serious infections.

Gum infections also may be a concern, especially if you have a history of poor dental hygiene.
Uncontrolled diabetes may also lead to lower than normal bone mineral density, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.

The complications of diabetes are far less common or severe in people who have well controlled blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

The good news is that the risk of developing complications is greatly reduced by healthy eating, regular physical activity, well controlled Blood Pressure, reduced stress etc.
It is also very important to follow your treatment plan for diabetes and see your doctor for ongoing care.

For those who already suffer from Diabetes related conditions, follow the treatment plan as is advised by your healthcare providers. This may help avoid or delay further serious problems.

This Article is written by Ella Awele Nwaokolo a student of medicine and surgery of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Ogun State, Nigeria.

To be a guest blogger on the Nigeria diabetes online community blog kindly send your articles to us on and follow us on @theNGdoc and like our Facebook page

Sunday, 20 October 2013


In line with our commitment to  the prevention and care of diabetes in Nigeria, we have lined up activities and programs for the World Diabetes Day on November 14,2013.

We are organizing a World Diabetes Day Essay Competition with the theme:

"DIABETES IN NIGERIA: Protecting the future".


This essay is aimed at improving people's awareness and knowledge on diabetes and its care.


1. To qualify you must be following @theNGdoc
2. Your essay must not be more than 500 words
3. Entries open on November 1, 2013 and close on November 10, 2013
4. All entries must be in MS Word format and sent as an attachment to NGDOC thengdoc(at)gmail(dot)com
5. After submitting your entry, you MUST make a tweet at @theNGdoc

 [e.g. I just submitted my entry for @theNGdoc World Diabetes Day essay competition #WDDEssay]

7. Your essay can be in any format i.e. can be in form of a story, poem, etc.
8. Your essay will be tested for creativity and originality.

Winners will be announced on November 14, 2013.

Star prize is N20,000.
Top 3 articles will be featured on our website and blog

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


A diabetes diet is simply a healthy eating plan that is high in nutrients, low in bad fat and moderate in calories. It is a healthy diet for anyone!
The only difference is the need to pay more attention to some of the food choices most notably the carbohydrates eaten. Eating right is vital when trying to prevent or control diabetes.

While exercise is also important, what is eaten has the biggest impact when it comes to weight loss. Its important to note that nutritional needs are virtually the same for everyone else as for PWDs, no special foods or complicated diets are necessary.

Speaking of carbohydrates being part of the notable choice we eat; Carbohydrates have a big impact on blood sugar levels more than fats and protein but its not always necessary to avoid them. Its always good to be smart about what type of carbohydrate taken.

 It is best to limit highly refined carbohydrates like white bread, rice, snack foods, carbonated drinks, candy e.t.c; focusing on high-fibre complex carbohydrates (also known as slow-release carbohydrates) instead.

Slow-release carbohydrates help keep blood sugar levels even because they are digested more slowly, thus preventing the body from producing too much insulin.
They also provide lasting energy and help stay full longer.


1. Instead of of highly refined carbohydrates, try these high-fibre options:
 Non-starchy vegetables, beans and fruits such as apple,pears, peaches, berries, bananas, mangoes e.t.c. Grains in the least processed state possible such as brown rice, white barley, millet, wheat berries e.t.c

2. Limit concentrated sweets – including high calorie foods with a low glycemic index, such as ice cream.  Reduce fruit juice to no more than one cup a day.
Avoid sugar sweetened drinks.

3. Eat a healthful type of protein at most meals such as beans, fish, skinless chicken e.t.c.

4. Choose foods with healthy fats such as olive-oil, nuts (almond, walnuts and avocados).
Limit saturated fats from dairy and other animal products like cheese, yoghurt etc. 

5. Completely avoid partially hydrogenated fats (Trans-fat), which are usually found in fast foods and many packaged foods.

6. Have complete three meals a day (do not skip breakfast).

7. Eat slowly and stop when full. Having Diabetes does not mean eliminating sugar. If you have diabetes, you can still enjoy a small serving of your favourite dessert now and then. 
The key to it is MODERATION.

But maybe you have a sweet tooth and the thought of cutting back on sweets sounds almost as bad as cutting them out together.
The good news about diet is that cravings do go away. The more your habits become healthier, the more the food you seem to love becomes too rich or too sweet and you may find yourself craving healthier options instead.

This Article is written by Damilola Shobiye a Student of Nutrition and Dietetics from Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.

To be our Guest Blogger on the nigeria diabetes online community kindly send your article to us on, follow us on @theNGdoc and like our facebook page


This is the period where our dear muslim friends, family and colleagues fast for a period of time. Fasting during Ramadan, a holy month of Islam, is an obligatory duty for all healthy adult Muslims and its duration varies between 29 and 30 days. Its timing changes with respect to seasons. Depending on the geographical location and season, the duration of the daily fast may range from a few to more than 20 hours.
Muslims who fast during Ramadan must abstain from eating, drinking, use of oral medications, and smoking from predawn to after sunset; however, there are no restrictions on food or fluid intake between sunset and dawn. Most people consume two meals per day during this month, one after sunset, referred to in Arabic as Iftar (breaking of the fast meal), and the other before dawn, referred to as Suhur (predawn).
Now the question is, what food or fluid intake do one use to break or start this fasting?

As we know, fasting is not meant to create excessive hardship on the Muslim individual. Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder which may place one at high risk for various complications if the pattern and amount of meal and fluid intake is markedly altered.
Due to loss of energy, weakness and dehydration. Most people rush for food that contains carbohydrate. Foods like rice, yam, spaghetti etc, inorder to gain their strength back.
This is not right, it only increases blood sugar which makes one restless and dizzy, which only makes matter worse.
So how can we live healthy, during this fasting period?

1.) Water should be the first intake as soon as one wants to break fast. We must ensure we take as much as possible throughout the evening till dawn. It will help the circulation of blood in ones system, reduce dehydration and cleanse it. Avoid drinks with caffeine.

2.) Start meal with fruits. Fruits like watermelon, oranges, blueberries-Blueberries are awesome choice. They are packed with dietary fiber, vitamin C, and flavonoids. Flavonoids are phytonutrients and help to boost ones immune system and fight off infection. They could also help fight off bad cholesterol and keep the heart and arteries healthy

 Grapefruits-They are packed with antioxidants, especially in the ruby red variety. It lowers bad cholesterol by 20% and triglycerides by 17%.

3.) Take in enough protein. Due to not eating anything for over 17-20hrs, the body will be feeding on itself. So there is need to rebuild this areas. Source of protein that will be good includes; 
Tofu-Even if not a vegetarian, tofu is a great product to integrate in diet. It is made from soy, which is high in niacin, folate, zinc, potassium, iron, and the fatty acid alpha-linolenic. This can turn into the hugely beneficial omega-3 fatty acid
Beans-Beans are a great alternative because they are high in fiber and protein. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

Also, other meals like brown rice, amala (instead of yam flour try plaintain flour), wheat flour( easily digested), non-starchy vegetables, fish, skinless chicken etc.

While the iftar meal is a celebration time, try not to overeat. Keep sensible portions in mind and follow the same guidelines for healthy eating done during the rest of the year with emphasis on whole grains, lean sources of meat, fish and poultry and small amounts of heart healthy fats.

This Article is written by Damilola Shobiye a Student of Nutrition and Dietetics from Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.

To be our Guest Blogger on the nigeria diabetes online community kindly send your article to us on, follow us on @theNGdoc and like our facebook page

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Second African Diabetes Congress Yaounde 2014 "Diabetes: Challenges and Opportunities in Africa"


 The Second African Diabetes Congress Yaounde-Cameroon:25th-28th February 2014
"Diabetes: Challenges and Opportunities in Africa"

The Scientific Program Committee of the ADC 2014 invites all interested participants to submit abstracts for oral or poster presentations. Abstract submission to the ADC 2014 is based on 100% online system and all abstracts will be reviewed by the scientific program committee and the secretariat will inform presenting authors of the outcome via email. Participants, who would like to actively participate in the Congress, are requested to submit an abstract for review by the Program Scientific Committee.

The Committee reserves the right to:
1) select the abstracts relevant to the Scientific Program
2) decide on the final form of presentation (oral or poster display)

The 2nd African Diabetes Congress will promote excellence in the field of diabetes. The congress has been appropriately themed: “Diabetes: Challenges and opportunities in Africa”. The Congress will provide an ideal opportunity to cross fertilize with colleagues from Africa and mingle with international renowned experts in the field of diabetes. We are putting together an exciting scientific programme of the most recent diabetes evidence and best practice that will underpin the improvement in diabetes care, treatment and prevention adapted to the African region.

The congress will be held at the Hilton Hotel Yaounde-Cameroon from the 25th–28th February 2014. We look forward to welcoming you to Cameroon, Africa in Miniature!

More information can be gotten here



Wednesday, 4 September 2013


World Diabetes Day is the primary global awareness campaign of the diabetes mellitus world and is held on November 14 of each year.

It was introduced in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to the alarming rise of diabetes around the world. World Diabetes Day is a campaign that features a new theme chosen by the International Diabetes Federation each year to address issues facing the global diabetes community.

While the campaigns last the whole year, the day itself marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.

Each year, World Diabetes Day is centred on a theme related to diabetes. Topics covered have included diabetes and human rights, diabetes and lifestyle, diabetes and obesity, diabetes in the disadvantaged and the vulnerable, diabetes in children and adolescents. It mainly entails talking about Diabetes

This year's world diabetes day theme is Diabetes: Protect our Future

Activities can include:

Bringing Diabetes to Light by making monumental structures and buildings go blue for diabetes awareness 

Organize an event in your location: Could be an awareness program or in collaboration with health institutions could be a free screening program

You could organize a flash mob with friends


Contact us for more information


Here are 10 facts from the World Health Organization website featured on our twitter handle and Facebook Page.

1) There is an emerging global epidemic of diabetes that can be traced back to rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity.

2) Total deaths from diabetes are projected to rise by more than 50% in the next 10 years. Most notably, they are projected to increase by over 80% in upper-middle income countries.

3) Type 1 diabetes is characterized by a lack of insulin production and type 2 diabetes results from the body's ineffective use of insulin.

4) Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes, and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes worldwide.

5) Reports of type 2 diabetes in children - previously rare - have increased worldwide. In some countries, it accounts for almost half of newly diagnosed cases in children and adolescents.

6) A third type of diabetes is gestational diabetes. This type is characterized by hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, which is first recognized during pregnancy.

7) In 2005, 1.1 million people died from diabetes. The full impact is much larger, because although people may live for years with diabetes, their cause of death is often recorded as heart diseases or kidney failure.

8) 80% of diabetes deaths are now occurring in low- and middle-income countries.

9) Lack of awareness about diabetes, combined with insufficient access to health services, can lead to complications such as blindness, amputation and kidney failure.

10) Diabetes can be prevented. Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days and a healthy diet can drastically reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Image and Text Credit to World Health Organization; for more info visit here 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013


Since our last meeting with Omolade our relationship has improved drastically, with her mom attestating to the tremendous changes and her improved attitude to health.

So we asked her to reflect on how it has been to date (Her Journey so far) and she dropped us this letter.

 Omolade with the NGDOC Team


Diabetes to me is a disease that does not enable my body to provide insulin and does not enable my body to store glucose to glucogen
A non-communicable disease that can only be transferred through traits or heredity.


On the 13th of august 2012 I realised I am diabetic but because it was new to me and due to my worries all the time i am always saying that there is someone behind my condition and I am always putting myself into crisis, scared, thinking, crying and always running away from people.

When I met My Clinicians and the NGDOC Team this year, they explained a lot to me that many people around the both whites and blacks have diabetes and are living well so I need not to put myself into more crisis. They said by taking my insulin regularly I will be preventing a lot of problems for myself and my family.

I now have become shy and so happy when I saw people from all over the world on the system, in the books and mobile phone. I realise I need to cope with my diabetes and leave the rest to God Almighty to take control of all.

I have hence begun to rejoice with all the choices of mine, thanks to my doctors and the NGDOC team.

 Onafowokan Omolade

You can read our previous post on omolade here

If you know any Type 1CWD please contact us

We wish to thank the Paediatric Endocrinology Department of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital under the supervision of Dr Mrs Fetuga (Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist) for connecting us with Omolade.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013


Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person's mind and body, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
Health is of major concern to nations of the world. WHO and the member states strive hard to ensure this is achieved across board. A major WHO goal is to improve equity in health, reduce health risks, promote healthy lifestyles and settings, and respond to the underlying determinants of health.
This among others are the goals expected to be followed by member states and organizations.
A meeting with Prof. Cees Th. Smit Sibinga was a real eye opener as we discussed the problems faced by developing nations and africa as a continent.
Prof Sibinga is a WHO expert involved in international short term consulting missions; medium and long term projects focused on the development of Transfusion Medicine in economically restricted countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Africa, Western Pacific and the Middle East.
Prof. Cees Th. Smit Sibinga and I 

A lot has been invested in terms of resource on health in the continent with little impact and Africa being a toast of many investors has to be self motivated towards adequate care especially in health for her citizens.

Our focus of discussion centered around blood transfusion practices in Africa (His area of expertise) and diabetes (my passion ),we realized that so much needs to be done to step our health practices up to conform to international standards especially in Nigeria.
Nigeria is a large country with great prospect and promising health policies but implementation has been a major hindrance to quality health care delivery.

The World Health Organization's activities deals directly with member nations and organizations hence whatever agreement signed at the World Health Assembly is binding on all member nations and as such must be implemented, likewise any feedback given by the member nations must reflect the true state of health affairs in the member country as that would be the blue print guiding WHO activity in such country.
So what happens inbetween agreements, implementation and feedback: The Politics of Health;
So many questions ranging from if the Member nations especially developing countries abide by the agreements signed at the World Health Assembly; if they give the true state of health in their respective countries as a feedback to WHO?
These questions are endless but from the few minutes interaction with Prof Sibinga i realized that the problems are not as cumbersome as thought and the solution is within reach.
Prof Sibinga said: "When you vote, you exercise your authority not just to choose your favorite candidate to govern your affairs for a particular period but also to represent your interest within that same period'
So, it is not just in us as individuals or as a nation to vote for personalities we love or adore but we also need to vote for policies and adequate representation especially in health care delivery across board.

It is imperative to note that once we are misrepresented at the international level as against the true state of health affairs or when policies end only on the papers then we need not scream isolation by the international community when in real truth the world can only help those willing to help themselves.

Interesting to note is that topmost on the agenda at this year's world health assembly is Non Communicable diseases (click here) among which is Diabetes which has affected over 347million people worldwide (about 50% of those with diabetes are yet to be diagnosed; More than 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries; WHO projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death in 2030)
With all these knowledge at our fingertips it is important for all stake holders and health advocates to rise to the challenge of ensuring that proper health care policies and delivery are achieved at all levels of governance. 

This is a clarion call to all health advocates especially at community level to also encourage the people to in addition to voting for personalities also consider policies that will make their health better and more secured.
We believe all governmental administrative structures from the community to national heads must be filled with people who stand for policies that will better the health and lives of the people
With this evolutionary mind set in view and in place we believe the African health care system will become more proactive.


Saturday, 8 June 2013


Groningen is the main municipality as well as the capital city of the eponymous province in The Netherlands.

With a population of around 190,000, it is the largest city in the north of the Netherlands. An ancient city, Groningen was the regional power of the northern Netherlands, a semi-independent city-state and member of the German Hanseatic League. Groningen is a university city: the University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences each have about 25,000 students.

With a background knowledge of Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, being a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.

There are 3 main classifications of Diabetes Mellitus but for the purpose of this article we would major on Type 2 DM which makes up about 90% of cases of diabetes with the other 10% due primarily to diabetes mellitus type 1 and gestational diabetes.

 Obesity is thought to be the primary cause of type 2 diabetes in people who are genetically predisposed to the disease. Type 2 diabetes is initially managed by increasing exercise and dietary modification.
Rates of type 2 diabetes have increased markedly over the last 50 years in parallel with obesity: As of 2010 there are approximately 285 million people with the disease compared to around 30 million in 1985.

Long-term complications from high blood sugar can include heart disease, strokes, diabetic retinopathy where eyesight is affected, kidney failure which may require dialysis, and poor circulation of limbs leading to amputations. The acute complication of ketoacidosis, a feature of type 1 diabetes, is uncommon. However, non-ketotic hyperosmolar coma may occur

But a proper diet and exercise are the foundations of diabetic care, with a greater amount of exercise yielding better results. A diabetic diet that promotes weight loss is important. Aerobic exercise leads to a decrease in HbA1c and improved insulin sensitivity. Resistance training is also useful and the combination of both types of exercise may be most effective.
Culturally appropriate education may help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels, and also prevent type 2 diabetes.



Groningen has been called the "World Cycling City", since 57% of journeys within the city are made by bicycle. The city is very much adapted to the wishes of those who want to get around without a car, as it has an extensive network of segregated cycle-paths, good public transport, and a large pedestrianized zone in the city centre.

The transformation of the historic centre into a pedestrian priority zone enables and invites walking and biking by making these active modes of transport comfortable, safe and enjoyable. These attributes are accomplished by applying the principle of "filtered permeability".

It means that the network configuration favours active transportation and selectively, “filters out” the car by reducing the number of streets that run through the centre. While certain streets are discontinuous for cars, they connect to a network of pedestrian and bike paths which permeate the entire centre. In addition, these paths go through public squares and open spaces increasing the enjoyment of the trip.

The logic of filtering a mode of transport is fully expressed in a comprehensive model for laying out neighbourhoods and districts – the Fused Grid.

 In the Italian TV programme of investigative journalism "Report" appeared a short film, considering the use of bikes in Groningen a good practice to emulate in Italy.

Am really going to learn to ride a bicycle

My experience at The International Student Congress of (bio)medical sciences in Groningen is a typical example of a healthy habit turned Lifestyle, I was thrilled by the fact that a city can turn cycling a good means of daily exercise into a lifestyle and I was thrilled seeing kids cycling around.

Nigerian Medical Students at the ISCOMS (From Ukraine and Nigeria)
I believe other countries like Nigeria can emulate this great healthy habit, the hot West African weather might not allow for cycling all day long but evenings are great time to cycle.
So in the future, road constructions should have bicycle lanes; there should be subsidized rates on bicycles and importation of bicycles to Nigeria must be encouraged.

All these efforts will go a long way in creating healthy lifestyles for Nigerians thereby preventing and managing type 2 diabetes among Nigerians.

Also I will suggest the Nigerian Government should encourage student research exchanges through adequate funding and motivation as this is instrumental to economic and academic development, as this exposure is one not easily forgotten.

Saturday, 4 May 2013


In 2009, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) launched the Women and Diabetes Programme, to build global support for women living with diabetes. There were an estimated 151 million women with diabetes in 2011 and this number is expected to rise to 275 million by 2030.

As a federation of over 200 MAs in over 160 countries, IDF is in a unique position to promote the women and diabetes agenda.

The Women and Diabetes Programme aims to:

Build the evidence base
Raise global awareness and commitments
Strengthen gender responsive health systems
Empower women as key agents in the fight against diabetes

The aims of the Women and Diabetes Programme are framed within the commitment IDF made to the UN Every Women Every Child initiative, which was launched by the UN Secretary General to put into action the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health:

“The International Diabetes Federation commits to increase recognition of the linkages between diabetes and related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and women and children's health, support the integration of diabetes into existing health systems and maternal and newborn child health initiatives, and empower girls and women to prevent diabetes in current and future generations.


Activities of the Women and Diabetes Programme fit within four broad categories:

Global awareness & advocacy: At the national and global levels, advocate for women and diabetes as a priority global health and development issue

Building the evidence base: Epidemiological, qualitative and health systems research of the direct and indirect burden of diabetes on girls and women

Best practice projects: Combine research and in-the-field interventions to establish models of diagnosis and care for women with diabetes and to improve their health outcomes

Knowledge sharing: Organise and participate in side-events, meetings and conferences with other experts and stakeholders in the field of diabetes".

Living with Diabetes is hard on women and its burden on women is unique because the disease can affect both mothers and their unborn children.

Diabetes can cause difficulties during pregnancy and delivery such as large sized babies, miscarriage or a baby born with birth defects. Women with diabetes are also more likely to have a heart attack, and at a younger age, than women without diabetes.

For women who do not currently have diabetes, pregnancy brings the risk of gestational diabetes. Based on recently announced diagnostic criteria for gestational diabetes, it is estimated that gestational diabetes develops in 18 percent of all pregnancies but disappears when a pregnancy is over.

Women who have had gestational diabetes or have given birth to a baby weighting more than 9 pounds are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life

We at the Nigeria Diabetes Online Community believe in Female education and empowerment towards adequate Diabetes care and quality health delievery.
Hence, we plan to motivate 100 females who are ready to raise awareness about Diabetes in their communities.

So if you are a female or a female youth leader passionate about Diabetes Care and Prevention in Nigeria, enthusiastic about change in your community and you wish to create awareness about diabetes in Nigeria via social media thereby reducing its prevalence and the stigma associated with it.

Please feel free to contact us on


International Diabetes Federation
American Diabetes Association

Thursday, 2 May 2013


On the 28th of April The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community and Diabeticare in their usual style had a 1hour tweetchat that aimed at discussing the way forward in diabetes mellitus care in Nigeria.
There has been a progressive increase in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in Nigeria and the burden is expected to increase even more. Considering this fact there is an urgent need to examine our healthcare systems, work on existing programmes for persons with diabetes and effectively implement a process that facilitates accessibility to such.
This discussion that pulled interested participants from Nigeria and beyond was aimed at getting opinions and suggestions that are people oriented towards forging ahead in our clamor for quality health care services and delivery in Nigeria.

Five questions were thrown in the chat.Responses are summarized

1st QUESTION: On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate DM (Diabetes Mellitus) care in Nigeria and why?
Response Given;

Diabetic care in Nigeria is very poor because it is reactive rather than proactive. Prevention should be a key strategy

2nd QUESTION: how do you think NGOs can help with DM care and T2 (type2) DM prevention in your community?

Response Given;

Access to information & education is key. People can be empowered to be advocates for change in their own #diabetes communities
Education is key; insulin without education is like a car without a steering wheel and of course access to supplies is essential: affordability & availability are major issues in many countries, especially rural areas.
NGOs have more ability to influence education in a sustainable fashion and can help through health education programmes and the organisation of peer support groups for affected individuals
Crucial programs need to consider local customs & culture - involving #youth is essential!
Founders of t1 international and 100 campaign (international NGOs dedicated to T1DM CARE and promotion of access to insulin by all by 2022) our partners find it hard to believe that insulin is still so expensive - they believe insulin should be a human right.

3rd QUESTION: How can Health care providers enhance adequate support for people with D (diabetes)?

Response Given;
There should be more awareness and education provided in the communities
Pressure needs to be put on the pharmaceutical Companies - Diabetes is not a money making scheme
Connecting them to others. Empowering people to realize they can live a normal life, without limitations
By working together we can achieve this! We can learn from other movements. Strength in numbers & empowered groups
Individualising the treatment is key. Proper education of patients with Diabetes and making them partners in their own treatment

4th QUESTION: What role can the food, drinks and beverage industry play in DM care and prevention?

Response Given;
The food, drink and beverage industries need to be properly regulated!
Remember type1 is about a lack of insulin nothing to do with food types - watching food groups helps maintain better blood glucose control
Although food, drink & beverage industries do play a role in the lifestyles of people (& co morbidities), more sugar free alternatives of common beverages should be made available

5th QUESTION: In what ways can 'WE' increase community awareness on a large scale?

Response Given;
TV campaigns or radio jingles on Diabetes happen to be important means of mass education and this can be linked to a local community (health/ fitness) prevention event.
Empowering local role models with diabetes.
recognizing the basic symptoms and encouraging a healthy lifestyle for all
All forms of media (TV, Radio, Print, and Social) will help with the awareness. Currently very little is being done through them.

In lieu of this we at the Nigeria Diabetes Online Community hope to partner with individuals and organizations who see a need to propose and effect change in the Nigeria Healthcare system towards adequate Diabetes Care.
Thanks to all our Nigerian participants and our international friends who graced the meeting and also participated through great ideas and suggestions.

Sunday, 21 April 2013



    According to the international Diabetes Federation diabetic Atlas; Diabetes Mellitus is one of the most common non-communicable diseases (N.C.D) globally.
D.M, is the fourth leading cause of death in most high-income countries and now there is substantial evidence showing that it is epidemic in many economically developing and newly industrialized countries.

     Africa, a multicultural, religious and ethnically diverse continent had traditionally been dominated by infectious diseases but with rapid urbanization, NCD’s are quickly becoming a priority for health in this continent; with an estimate of about 14.7 million Adults being diabetic in 2011 and a projection of 28.0 million by year 2030.
     According to I.D.F, financial estimate of Africa indicate that at least USD2.8billion was spent on health care due to diabetes alone in 2011 and this is expected to rise by 61% in 2030. It is however imperative, based on the facts above as health care givers and stakeholders to firstly understudy Africa with its peculiarities and strategize a befitting and appropriate health care system that put into consideration and accommodates the African mindset.
This health care system must understand Afric’s multicultural settings,religious inclinations and embrace its ethnic diversity.


Africa, a developing continent is characterized by multiple factors that has plunged the continent into an era of economic and social setbacks and this has slowed down the rate of health care delivery in the continent.
Factors influencing African health care delivery noteworthy include:

         Vast majority of Africans anchor their belief to A Supreme Being who is held in the highest esteem with instructions and guidance being handed over through HIS representatives to the followers. These representatives are called clergy. African religious setting is multifaceted and has been a great influence on lifestyle and philosophy. Some believe diseases and ailments serve as a punishment for wrongdoing or an attack.
   The role of religion in diabetic care cannot and must not be underestimated as it plays a major role in the attitude of individuals and the community to diabetic care. In view of this, community diabetology should be encouraged with individual communities coming up with programs that put into consideration religious beliefs perculiar to such community.
Diabetic education and enlightenment should also be integrated into all religious institutions.
Community Diabetes Awareness

According to UNESCO Africa fact sheet:
176 million Adults are unable to read to write.
47million youth (age 15-24) are illiterates.
21millions adolescents are out of school and 32 million primary aged children are not in school.

The fact above reflects a continent with poor educational foundation for both the adults and the youths (future leaders). Education is paramount to information dissemination and economic Growth
International design of diabetic care and education should be revisited with the inclusion of more flexible and grass root friendly Programs. To an average uneducated African, “the absence of disease is Health” as against the W.H.O Definition of Health and this mentality coupled with cultural and religious belief system on disease affect preventive medicine in Africa.
      To a large extent, people don’t tend to complain until they start noticing complications; this added to the silent nature of D.M results in the highly complicated D.M found at hospitals.

       African culture is varied and diverse. With the introduction of westernization, Africa’s age long culture and traditions are being substituted for western styles. This with urbanization has to a greater extent made Diabetic Care progressive in Africa i.e. through the media, internet, community research and community screening.
      In light of these remarkable progress; styles, trends and culture that promotes preventive care in diabetic health care should be considered in Africa

Free Community Diabetic Screening Conducted by Students Of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital,Sagamu,Ogun State,Nigeria

        According to a UN report-

Half of the population of Africa lives below a dollar a day.
32 of the world’s 38 heavily indebted poor countries are in Africa (World Bank).
Slums are homes to about 72% of urban citizens.

These alarming facts reflects a continent where half of its population can’t boast of good feeding habits, good social status and most importantly access to quality health.
Procurement of drugs and the ability to afford healthy diets are difficult by people who live below a dollar a day. Hence, diabetic care should involve Philanthropists, Non-Governmental organizations, Societies, Governments and pharmaceutical companies who through serious effort and commitment would empower the continent economically.
    Also, I.D.F through its national bodies in Africa and affiliates should engage government into subsidizing drugs to make them affordable, available and extremely cheap such that majority of the African populace can have access to it and afford it. This will make life easier for those suffering extreme hardship in Africa

    Finally, it is imperative I point our attention to a silent but serious issue in Africa: Medical ethics and trado medical ethics.
    Africa, unlike many developed continents where rules and regulations guide healthcare delivery system is faced with a challenge. The trado medicals (groups of people that use herbs in treating medical conditions) are generally not well structured and not aligned with the medical professionals. This has for a long time been a major issue of contention with people being deceived in the ability of a single drug to cure all ailments in existence. ‘Gbogbonise’ – A drug for all ailments as it is called, has been largely marketed and sold amongst the uneducated in the community,with even a small fragment of the educated patronising them giving false hopes of a permanent cure to D.M and this has accounted for high percentage of late presentation at the hospitals.
      To forestall these activities, it is important to involve, train, and educate the tradomedicals on diabetic care and this I strongly believe, will go a long way in stopping the menace constituted by late presentations at clinics.
 In addition, a structure can be put in place by the African government and leaders for the tradomedicals which will spell out the ethics of their profession and limit the unprofessionalism demonstrated in the community.

Various Tradomedical Schemes At Marketing Drugs in Nigeria

In conclusion, the peculiarity of the African continent requires calls for a more radical and strategic approach in diabetic care with health care givers, researchers, government, and NGO’s understanding the challenges posed by the factors and putting these into consideration in developing a plan in diabetic health care delivery for the continent.

 IDF Diabetic Atlas (5th Edition)

Adejumo Hakeem

From the IDF africa Newsletter 2nd edition