In an interview with The Punch, an endocrinologist and Medical Director in Rainbow Specialist Centre, Lagos, Dr. Afokoghene Isiavwe, speaks about the risks posed by diabetes especially in the case of Nigeria.
How prevalent is the disease in Nigeria?
There are about 413 million diabetic people worldwide and about half of them do not know they have the condition. This year, the key message is to screen for diabetes and its complications. There are no reliable statistics in Nigeria, but we are able to know from published papers that the prevalence is as low as one per cent in the northern region to as high as 11 per cent in Lagos.
In Lagos, one in 10 adults has diabetes. That is how serious it is. The prevalence was not as bad in the 60s. But, with an increase in pocket size, increase in the body mass index, we see an increase in the prevalence. Obesity, poor diet, low exercise, and having a family history of diabetes increase the risk. These days, we see young children with type 2 diabetes.