By Muhammad Amaan
The Diabetes Association of Nigeria said no fewer than 11.2 million Nigerians are presently living with the disease.
President of the association, Dr Alkali Mohammed, revealed this on Monday in Abuja at an event to commemorate the 2023 World Diabetes Day (WDD).
The WDD is set aside by the United Nations to draw public attention to the need for action to fight the menace of diabetes.
It is a day also designed celebrated to raise awareness about the disease as a global public health issue and what needed to be done collectively and individually to manage of the condition or prevent it.
The 2023 commemoration has as its theme, “Access to diabetes care.”
Dr Mohammed explained that out of the 11.2 million Nigerians living with diabetes, 90 per cent of them had type 2, adding that the disease could affect any part of the body.
He also disclosed that about 537 million people were recorded living with disease globally.
He added that it had been projected that the figure could increase to 737 million by 2040 if nothing was done to curb the disease.
Dr Mohammed, however, advocated for increased tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) product from 10 per cent to 20, noting that the tax would improve the health culture and environment by discouraging the consumption of sugary products.
He also said that the tax would help raise some revenue for the government.
The president, however, said that the government had not been able to explain what the 10 per cent tax from SSBs was being utilised for.
“The government does not fund the control and management of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), including diabetes due to what it termed as paucity of funds,” he said.
He, therefore, appealed to the government to use at least 60 per cent of the tax generated for public enlightenment, prevention, as well as subsidising of drugs, especially for diabetes patients.
The president also called for enrolment of some Nigerians with NCDs in the health insurance scheme.
Meanwhile, the National Action on Sugar Reduction (NASR), a coalition, has said that a diabetic patient spends not less than N300, 000 annually on medication.