Statistics reveals that 1 in every 10 persons is diabetic and sadly only 50% of persons suffering from Diabetes know that they have the disease. Most Carry on till complications, sometimes irreversible complications set in. It was against this background that the Nigerian Medical association National partnered with the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Diabetic society of Nigeria and others to carry out free outreach and massive screening for the University of Calabar Community.

The screening which started at 7am witness many staff of the university come-in to test their blood sugar and get medical advise on time. The Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu, sensitizing the crowd on diabetes and how to reduce the risk of coming down with it said The theme of World Diabetes Day 2020 is “the nurse and diabetes” because nurses play key roles in providing lifelong care for people with diabetes and it’s complications. In 2020, the World Diabetes Day campaign focuses on promoting the role of nurses in the prevention and management of diabetes. “It’s been a tough year for people living with diabetes as COVID -19 disease and lock down led to increase mortality, as persons with diabetes were most vulnerable and affected. Furthermore the cost of buying insulin and drugs has skyrocketed. However there is hope as the state health insurance scheme covers diabetic patient protecting them from catastrophic health expenditures and out of pocket expense. She advocated for regular exercise, appropriate diet, avoidance of smoking and excessive achohol consumption as well as routine check up to identify diabetes and control it even before the complications arise.

Dr Abraham Anlak who is the chairman, National committee for Health Promotion, spoke about weight loss and obesity that predisposes to Diabetes. However he said you can be on the big side and not have diabetes if you have a life style modification. He said the Nigerian Medical Association National will continue to promote health care and outreaches all across the country to ensure The support Government to get a more healthy society. He commended the state Government for their effort and support while appreciating the effort of the Diabetic CSO that has been working assiduously to sensitize the general public on how to protect themselves from diabetes and it’s complications.

Mr Enya who is a diabetic patient carefully explained his orderly stating that they were worse hit during COVID-19, he noted that the effort of the Cross River state Government to start up a health insurance scheme will go a long way to reduce catastrophic expenditures. He appealed for more support for Government, NGOs and good spirited individuals to support them for testing and drugs daily.

The Unical community who were key beneficiaries thanked the NMA national and state Government for the effort and free medical outreach and screening. Everyone is encouraged to go and test their fasting blood sugar to help them know their status!

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