From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Thirty out of every 50 patients with medically-related cases at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia suffer from diabetes-related cases.
This was disclosed by the Head, Diabetes Unit of the hospital, Dr. Ignatius Ezeani, while speaking at a free medical outreach for the screening and awareness training in Diabetes and blood pressure management in Umuahia North, Umuahia South and Ikwuano Local Government Areas of Abia state .
The outreach was sponsored by Senator Theodore Orji in partnership with FMC Umuahia.
The Consultant Physician and Diabetologist, decried the prevalence of the ailment in Abia State, stressing on the need for aggressive sensitisation of the ailment among residents, especially those in the rural communities to slow the casualty rate.
He identified some of the causes of the disease to include hereditary, lifestyle, hypertension, consumption of alcohol, smoking, obesity among others.
Dr. Ezeani however, noted that “diabetes is not a death sentence”, submitting that with lifestyle adjustment, regular check-up, weight reduction, reduction in caroline intake plus proper management, diabetes patients can live a normal life.
He cautioned against being panic about the disease, revealing that 464 million people globally or one in every 10 adults suffer from diabetes.
Earlier in a lecture, an Assistant Chief Dietician, Otuodichinma Solomon, said that proper management of diabetes was necessary to prevent or at least reduce incidents of complications such as kidney dysfunction, blindness and loss of sensation in peripheral nerves resulting in injury, infection and amputation of lower extremities.
She identified symptoms of diabetes as frequent urination, presence of sugar in the urine and feeling of hunger.
Harping on consumption of adequate diet as one of the major ways to prevent or manage diabetes, the dietician also advised against skipping of breakfasts.
She encouraged people to take breakfasts replete with high fiber, and to consume more of complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbohydrates which contain too much sugar.
In his speech, Senator Orji said the training was part of his many programmes aimed at improving the health needs of his constituents.
Orji who was represented by Chief Frank Ibe , decried the prevalence of hypertension and diabetes among his constituents.
He urged the participants at the event to take advantage of the seminar to acquire the necessary information needed to prevent the ailments.
The former Governor who said his free eye service had provided services to a number of constituents, and promised to do more to improve their living conditions.
Speaking, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Azubuike Onyebuchi, described diabetes as one of the commonest ailments in society and advised people to abstain from the risk factors.
Some of the beneficiaries, Mrs Ifeoma Ohaeri and the traditional ruler of Afa autonomous community in Ikwuano, HRH Eze Agunaegbe, thanked Senator Orji for the gesture.
They royal father appealed for the extension of the gesture to the rural communities for more people to be reached.
Eze Agunaegbe who identified diabetes and high blood pressure as the highest killer disease among his subjects asked for more government intervention both in sensitisation and regular free medical check-ups.