The wife of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Ms. Bola Obasanjo, has urged governments at all levels to support needy diabetes patients in the country.
Obasanjo complained that the costs of diabetes care are enormous, adding that the patients need help from governments and philanthropists.
She said this during a two-day Ogun youth diabetes camp organized by Talabi Diabetes Center in Ogun State. The camp was attended by 29 participants from six states across the country.
She said, “Now, those people from Jigawa state, I think there needs to be a follow-up.
“Is it possible to disclose what help is needed from the ministers and commissioners of their states because they need help? It is very expensive to manage and at the same time it is not very expensive.
“If you don’t tell them (the governments), they won’t know. They have so many other things to do. You help them first and they will help you.”
She further advised participants to take the life skills classes they were given to maintain and survive the disease, as did her husband, Obasanjo.
“There is no disease that is not fatal, but at the same time, if you manage it well, you will live your life to the fullest. And no one will know you have a disease as long as you do the right thing and do it at the right time.
“The food you eat is what you are. As a diabetic, you do not eat sugary and starchy foods.
“The training you have given them is very good, but we have to support them. The governments of their states need to support them in so many ways with nutrition and education. What they wear is also very important, because they should not have any cuts.”
Meanwhile, a diabetes specialist, Dr. Olubiyi Adeshina, who was also the Center’s Ogun State Coordinator, said the camp was organized to teach the participants how to live with the disease.
Adeshina noted that the participants are mostly young people with type 1 diabetes.
He said: “We have organized this camp for young people with type 1 diabetes to teach them life skills on how to cope with type 1 diabetes for the rest of their lives.
“Once you have diabetes, it cannot be cured; it is something you will have to live with for the rest of your life.
“And type 1 diabetes is common in children and adolescents. It can also occur in adults, but it’s very rare. So what we’ve done here is bring 21 young people together.”