80% of Nigeria’s Diabetes Cases Undetected Until After Complications - Report

Posted on: Mon 20-11-2023

A new research conducted by the International Diabetes Federation has discovered that 80 percent of individuals diagnosed with diabetes in Nigeria learn about their condition only after experiencing complications.

The study, spanning Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America, highlights the significant impact of diabetes-related complications on a global scale.

Out of those surveyed in Nigeria, 94 percent reported facing one or more complications during their diabetes journey.

According to the report, the complications associated with diabetes, ranging from heart and kidney damage to issues with eyes and feet, pose serious health threats, with some complications proving to be life-threatening.

The study underscores the considerable stress placed on individuals living with diabetes, as 55 percent of respondents in Nigeria express daily worries about developing complications.

A Type 2 diabetes survivor, Osarenkhoe Chima-Nwogwugwu, commented on the research,  emphasizing the urgent need for enhanced diabetes awareness and education.

She said, “To change this, more needs to be done to improve diabetes awareness and provide education to support the early detection and management of complications.”

The research also revealed that over 50 percent of individuals with type 2 diabetes in some countries, including Nigeria, remain undiagnosed due to the silent development of the condition.

Common complications reported among Nigerian respondents included depression (55 percent), eye (40 percent), foot (40 percent), and oral health (40 percent) problems.

Chima-Nwogwugwu concluded, “For those without access to the right support, diabetes and its complications can seriously impact day-to-day life and even become life-threatening.

“That is why the IDF is committed to improving awareness, helping people understand their risk, and enhancing access to the best available care.”

In light of these findings, the IDF calls for increased efforts in equipping healthcare professionals with the knowledge and resources needed for early diagnosis and optimal support for individuals living with diabetes.