Diabetes Advocacy and Care in Nigeria: A Review
The political commitments necessary to tackle the growing burden of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and related non- communicable diseases (NCDs) have increased in recent years in Nigeria. This has resulted in the development of national policy and strategic objectives by the Federal Ministry of Health for the prevention and control of NCDs in Nigeria. This review paper aims to highlight the increasing burden of Diabetes in Nigeria; the advocacy; policy and frame-work for integrating Diabetes care into the primary healthcare system in Nigeria.
This is a review paper and sources of information were from International and local healthcare policies and plan of action including national advocacy activities.
The issues for diabetes advocacy in Nigeria are provision of integrated Diabetes care at the primary level, awareness about diabetes and related NCDs, mobilization for increased political will, strengthening of the health system (funding, infrastructure, capacity building etc.) and a national diabetes/NCDs survey including gestational diabetes using the new evidence-based World Health criteria. Advocacy; policy and care are essential components in the prevention and control of diabetes and a large evidence-base is available on cost-effective primary interventions. Implementing these interventions as part of the National Policy on NCDs and a plan of action has been adopted by the National Council on Health in 2013. Actualizing the delivery of care in such scenario will require ongoing policy advocacy which is a deliberate and structured process of informing and influencing decision-makers in support of evidence-based policy.
Diabetes and related NCDs are increasing in prevalence in Nigeria and their complications pose an immense public health burden. There is an urgent need for our health decision-makers at all levels to implement adopted policies and plans of action to halt the escalating trend and burden of Diabetes through effective primary care, especially in rural communities of Nigeria.
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