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PHARMACEUTICALS

Lagos State, Novo Nordisk, others give succour to diabetes patients

To ease accessibility and affordability of diabetes treatment for diabetes patients, the Lagos State Government, in partnership with Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Nigeria Limited and Sunny Kuku Foundation, has commissioned and pioneer Insulin Support Centre called Base of Pyramid (BoP) initiative at General Hospital, Ikorodu, Lagos.

Promoters of the one-stop shop said BoP would ensure insulin and diabetes services ranging from blood glucose test to dietary and life support are available at the centre to be manned by health professionals, who would treat and run awareness campaign for patients.

Speaking on Tuesday at the commissioning of the initiative, Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Dr.Jide Idris, who was represented by Permanent Secretary in Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Femi Olugbile, said diabetes has become a global burden, which the Lagos State Government has been trying to nip at bud with regular screening at community level.

Idris said though lots of diabetes patients, who were not aware of their dangerous status, have been picked up through the regular screening exercise and enrolled into the healthcare system, some others, however, have been left unscreened for various socio-cultural reasons.

He added that BoP, which would also serve as walk-in-and-get-tested centre, would fill the gap that currently exists in yearly diabetes screening programme.

The health commissioner encouraged corporates entities to collaborate with Lagos State, the way Novo Nordisk has done, even as he acknowledged that the state government alone couldn’t carry the health burden of the populace.

Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Vice-President in Africa, Gulf and India, Mads Bo Larsen, said the goal of the BoP is to ensure that as many people that are diabetic have accessible care at affordable rate.

He said the organisation decided to pioneer the initiative in Nigeria because the country has the largest population in Africa with equally large number of people with diabetes .

BoP Project Manager,Dr.Ameze Odia, said the project was like a dream many feared its realisation.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, the growth of diabetes in Africa is currently the highest in the world; close to 15 million people in sub-Sahara Africa lives with diabetes.

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