Over 25 million people in Africa live with type II diabetes, and more than half of them are unaware of their status and do not receive treatment, the World Health Organization (VHO) said.
Regional Director for the African Health Agency Matshidiso Moetti said this at a news conference held at the Nigeria Health Service in Abuja in the wake of the World Diabetes Day.
She said over 90 percent of diabetes mellitus type II, emphasizing that if it fails to work well, diabetes can cause blindness, kidney failure, lower limb amputation, and other complications.
World Diaspora Day is celebrated on November 14 to create awareness of this disease and educate people about the need for regular medical check-ups to prevent or receive treatment for the illness.
This year, the theme of the celebration is "Family and Diabetes".
Ms. Mooney, who was presented at the press conference by officials in Nigeria, Klimenta Petra, said the topic highlights the impact of diabetes on individuals and families and the important role they play in preventing and controlling the disease.
Diabetes is one of the deadliest non-communicable diseases in the world. In 2015 it was estimated that 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes, and another 2.2 million deaths were attributed to high blood glucose in 2012.
Diabetes is a serious, persistent disease in which blood sugar is elevated. It may be due to a pancreas that does not produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes), or the body can not efficiently use insulin that produces (type 2 diabetes).
Mr Peters said there is a need for the African government to accelerate access to health services through primary health care based on people and universal health insurance. This is, as he said, very necessary because the region experienced sixfold increases in cases from 4 million in 1980 to 25 million in 2014.
He attributed an increase in population aging and lifestyle changes, including unhealthy nutrition and lack of physical activity.
According to him, since 1980, the incidence of type II diabetes has increased dramatically in all countries at all levels of income, and overweight and obesity are the strongest risk factors for type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other non-communicable diseases.
He said that illness always has a significant impact on the family, and that's why the international agency chose the family as part of its theme for this year.
G. Peter said early diagnosis and treatment were important for the prevention of complications of diabetes.
"Given that diabetes can potentially hit any family, awareness of signs, symptoms and risk factors is important for early detection. Diabetes can also take away family finances when people with diabetes need to pay their pockets for treatment.
"While family genes can be the cause of diabetes, family support can be a key benefit for people with diabetes, for example, families may choose to buy and serve a healthy and balanced child, encourage participation in physical activity and promote a healthy environment.
"Inability or premature death due to diabetes can push families into poverty. Diabetes is also a major burden on the health care system and the national economy," he said.
Talking about the dangers of not getting an early and consistent treatment for diabetes, Tavershim Adongo said that diabetes is quickly becoming one of the best non-communicable diseases with a high rate of comorbidity (disabling conditions) that can be difficult to manage because of limited resources and low awareness of patient / guardian.
He said that children and adults were equally sensitive, and pregnant women had an increased chance of becoming a diabetic.
"People living with diabetes need to take medication daily and go to regular medical examinations, because effects, if not checked, can lead to eye, hand and foot problems, kidney and brain problems among many. The average family in Nigeria can spend about half a month of household expenses for the treatment of family members with diabetes.
"As one of my patients said," HIV patients have better than me, I have to spend a lot of money on these drugs and tests, "citing free ARV drugs that are HIV / AIDS patients.
"It would be good for us as a society to develop a framework to fully support people living with this disease in order to help early diagnosis, access to drugs and social support services," Adongo said.