The Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria in collaboration with WHO launches “Stop Diabetes Initiative” on World Diabetes Day

The Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria in collaboration with the WHO Nigeria country Office and the Senator Lee Maeba Foundation joined the rest of the world to mark the World Diabetes Day on 14th November 2013.

This year’s World Diabetes Day marks the fifth and final year of the 2009-2013 campaign on the theme: “Diabetes education and prevention” with the campaign slogan: Diabetes: Protect our future.

The high point of the event was the launch of the “Stop Diabetes Initiative” by the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, represented by the Director of Public Health, Dr Bridget Okoeguale. He stated that the Initiative aims to bring different stakeholders together to halt the increasing prevalence of diabetes in Nigeria. The initiative will effectively and efficiently implement activities for the prevention and control of diabetes as stated in the National Policy and Strategic plan of action for the prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). He further explained that the International Diabetes Day provides a platform for engaging millions of people in advocacy and awareness.

The WHO Nigeria Country Representative, Dr Rui Gama Vaz in his Goodwill message, highlighted the risk factors for diabetes, the  consequences of late diagnosis and various preventive and control measures including  regular physical exercise, healthy diet  and avoidance of  tobacco. He further added that WHO will continue to support the country to attain the aim of the “Stop Diabetes Initiative.” within the framework of the National Action Plan for NCDs.

Speaking at the event, the President and Founder of Senator Lee Maeba Foundation described the contribution of his NGO to the fight against diabetes and solicited strong partnerships in creating public awareness and advocate for increased commitment by all stakeholders to reduce the burden of diabetes in Nigeria. Other Partners present at the event include Sanofi Aventis, Professional Associations, and other Civil Society organizations.