The National Diabetic Association, Nasarawa State Chapter, has decried the state government’s poor attitude toward diabetic patients, saying it had not supported them in managing the disease.
The state chairman of the association, Mr Umaru Sadiq, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lafia on Monday that government’s attitude to his members was not encouraging.
NAN reports that November 14 is celebrated worldwide as the “World Diabetic Day’’.
The theme for this year is “Eyes on Diabetic’’.
“The attitude of the state government toward the plights of those living with diabetes is disappointing to say the least.
“Many of our members are the elderly and the poor in the society and because of their situation, many cannot easily manage it. So, I expect that the state government should do more to help this category of people,’’ he said.
Sadiq who said that diabetes was far more deadly than the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV), wondered how government could give huge resources and adequate attention to people living with the HIV but ignore diabetic patients.
He appealed to the state government to have a positive attitude toward assisting diabetic patients.
A diabetic patient, Mrs Rukayat Maitalo, told NAN that the state government was not doing enough to adequately support diabetic patients in the state.
Maitalo appealed for a pragmatic approach to diabetics care to help patients live a healthy life.
"We have a lot of problems, especially, relating to buying of drugs and testing for blood fasting sugar.
“A test that used to cost N200 before is now N300,’’ she said.
Maitalo said she was, however, optimistic that since more attention was being given to the disease, government would do more to assist patients’ living with the ailment.
Another patient, Mr Umaru Husseini, defended the Nasarawa State Government’s attitude, saying it was due to the current economic crunch being witnessed in the state and across the country.
Husseini suggested that a cooperation mechanism be put in place between diabetic patients and the state government so that patients could have easy access to the relevant drugs
“If patients keep to the rules, they will have no problems.
“What is needed is cooperation between those who have the disease and the government, so that government can provide the drugs at subsidised rates since it cannot be provided free,’’ he said.
When NAN correspondent contacted Mallam Tukur Ahmed, the Special Assistant to Gov. Umaru Al-Makura on Media and Publicity, for reactions on the issue, he directed the correspondent to the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Daniel Iya.
However, there were no responses from calls made to Iya’s cell phone as at the time of filling this story.