Sunday, 31 March 2013

The challenges, hopes and aspirations of Living with Diabetes......Our interview with a Nigerian PWD

Nigeria typifies the classical example of living with Diabetes in a developing country where Diabetes is considered a social stigma and people are not eager to be termed or associated with it.

Developing countries like Nigeria have their peculiar challenges especially when such countries are still battling with communicable diseases and with increase industrialization opening doors to spread of T2DM.

We decided to take an innovative step by interviewing Mr Bolaji Lawal @BabanMoh , An investment banker with specialty in fixed income securities,capital market investment and corporate finance. He is a Type 2 Diabetic and resides in Port Harcourt (South South, Nigeria).

@theNGdoc: Brief Introduction of you sir and a summary of your journey so far as a PWD

Ans: I realized I was diabetic in December, 2010 after receiving malaria treatment and realized I was losing weight,My HCP quickly conducted a series of tests and informed me I was diabetic, he placed me on drugs

@theNGdoc: How has Living with diabetes affected your day to day activities?

Ans: Initially it was difficult but as I understood and got used to living with D,it became easier. Am hardly affected now.

@theNGdoc: How has the Nigeria health sector being able to improve your living with D?

Ans: I am eternally grateful to the University of Port Harcourt teaching hospital for saving my life.

@theNGdoc: Does the Health Care play any role in managing and preventing Type 2 Diabetes in your area?

Ans: Doctors in private practice need more training on management of DM,they can identify it easily but management needs improvement

@theNGdoc: What are the challenges faced by PWDs in Port Harcourt, Nigeria?

Ans: Quite a number but so many people are dying in Port Harcourt because of lack of proper management

@theNGdoc: Does the Health Care policy of Nigeria recognize the International Diabetes Charter of Rights and Responsibility of people living with PWD?

Ans: Please what is the Int'l Diabetes Charter of Rights and Responsibility about?

@theNGdoc: What ways can the Nigeria Diabetes online community, International Communities and Federal Government of Nigeria affect and help improve lives of PWDs in Nigeria in addition to activities already on ground.

Ans: Encourage a national weight loss program 2.Compel manufacturers to write the health risk on soft drinks, @DiabetiCare: @BabanMohD food and drinks industries in Nigeria should alert the masses on the health hazards linked to fizzy drinks jst like d tobacco ad does #ngdoc

@theNGdoc: We hope this interview serves as an eye opener and encourages other PWDs to speak out.Thank You all for your time Mr Bolaji Lawal

Thanks, pleasure is mine. Also like to extend my appreciation to Dr. Korubo and his team in Uniport Teaching Hosiptal

The purpose of this interview to encourage as many PWDs to identify with the Global diabetes online communities for care and support and to also help as many national and international organizations interested in Diabetes prevention (T2DM) and care (T1DM and T2DM) in developing countries get access to information directly from PWDs.

Full transcripts of the #tweetinterview can be gotten here

We are currently working on promoting the International Diabetes Federation Charter of Rights and Responsibilities of PWD in Nigeria

A big thank you to those that joined the #tweetinterview on the 1st of April 2013 @theNGdoc

We also wish to appreciate Mr Bolaji Lawal for being a part of this event.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) in Nigeria: Rare or not obvious?

Type 1 diabetes is a type of Diabetes Mellitus characterized by loss of the insulin-producing beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, leading to insulin deficiency, it can affect children or adults, but was traditionally termed "juvenile diabetes" because a majority of these diabetes cases were in children.

The true burden of T1DM is not really known, but a difference in the pattern and outcome of T1DM in Nigeria compared to other developed countries seems to be present.

Most DM screening data available is not population-based and is of limited value for making generalizations about Diabetes in the Nigerian Children.

According to Dr. Mrs Fetuga,Consultant Pediatric Endocrinologist at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital in South-West Nigeria who researched into the prevalence of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus cases at her center, only about 8 cases of T1DM have been seen with most presenting with Diabetic Ketoacidosis (a potentially life-threatening complication in people with diabetes, it happens predominantly in those with type 1 diabetes, but can occur in those with type 2 diabetes under certain circumstances. DKA results from a shortage of insulin; in response to which the body switches to burning fatty acids and producing acidic ketone bodies that cause most of the symptoms and complications).

We wondered if T1DM is actually rare in Nigeria or our pattern of screening that excludes children vis a vis poor awareness of DM & its types among natives are responsible for the low data on T1DM.

She also raised concerns about poor knowledge and awareness of T1DM among mothers making it difficult for them to even explain what is wrong with the child when symptoms are demonstrated (loss of weight,frequent urination,increased thirst and increased hunger)these symptoms may develop rapidly (weeks or months) in type 1 diabetes.

Most parents also default follow-up after treatment with a high level of non-compliance to insulin use..

The International Diabetes Federation "Life for a Child" Programme was established in 2001 with support from the Australian Diabetes Council and HOPE worldwide and is an innovative and sustainable support programme in which individuals, families and organisations contribute monetary or in-kind donations to help children with diabetes in developing countries.

Here's a call to HCP, Advocates, PWD to clamor for a more active community research into the epidemiology of T1DM in nigeria, passionate awareness, care and proper advocacy.

We at @theNGdoc are resolved towards committed advocacy for T1DM as well as the other types of DM and would appreciate any information on any child diagnosed of T1DM.

We are currently partnering with Elizabeth of T1international and the endocrinology unit of the pediatric department of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching hospital towards creating adequate grass-root awareness and proper care for T1DM children in Nigeria.

With these collaborative efforts we hope towards promoting grass root awareness for T1DM in Nigeria and adequate care for those with it.
To reach us please follow us on twitter @theNGdoc or send us an email

Lets Keep the Hope Alive.

Image Credit: everynigerianchild

Tuesday, 19 March 2013


Diet is one of the most important behavioral aspects of diabetes treatment. Basic principles of nutritional management, however, are often poorly understood, by both clinicians and their patients.

It is noteworthy that people with diabetes have the same nutritional needs as anyone else and thus must learn to eat well-balanced meals in the right amount, keeping fit and following the medications as prescribed by their HCPs.

Diabetes though on the rise, yet most cases (T2DM) are preventable with healthy lifestyle changes,

Eating right comes down to three things:

1. What you eat: Your diet makes a huge difference. Basically, all you should eat is mostly plant foods; cut back on refined carbohydrates and sugary drinks, and choose healthy fats over unhealthy fats.

2. When you eat: Diet is part of it but keeping regular meals and snacks also affect your blood sugar level and will help to keep them more constant.

3. How much you eat: Portion sizes matter. Even if you eat very healthy meals, if you eat too much you will gain weight, which is a factor in diabetes.

You do not need to eat special foods, but instead simply emphasize vegetables, fruits and whole grains. A diabetes diet is simply a healthy eating plan that is high in nutrients; low in fats and moderate in calories. It is a healthy diet for anyone.

For more info contact us on and follow us on twitter @theNGdoc

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Blue Friday Personality of the Week

In November 2010, Cherise Shockley cordinator of @DiabetesSocMed founded the Blue Fridays Initiative to spread the word about World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness Month.  

Diabetes is more than just a national issue; it is a world epidemic. Blue Fridays brings the global diabetes community together to raise awareness and celebrate World Diabetes Day.

Cherise received several emails and Facebook messages asking her to extend Blue Fridays and in december 2011, she honored the request she received from many people throughout the diabetes community by asking everyone to wear something blue every Friday.

Inspired by the Cherise's #bluefriday success @hadejumo started the blue friday personality of the week #bluefridaypow where he aimed at showcasing and profiling people every friday who are dedicated to creating diabetes awareness as a way of promoting diabetes awareness, blue friday and reducing the stigma associated with diabetes in nigeria and africa in general.

This program which featured so many people (PW/OD) was generally accepted by nigerians and henceforth will be continued (from the 14th of March, 2013) by @theNGdoc and @diabeticare.

If you are a PWD,a Diabetes advocate or an interested individual and you want to be featured as our #bluefridaypow (Blue Friday Personality of the week) send your Your Name, when diagnosed if a PWD if not skip, your activities, profession, works (blogs, research or articles on D) or what you do generally!

Should you have any quotes or sites we can quote from, we'd gladly do that.

Send a picture of you in blue and with answers to the questions above to

Expect a responce from us within 3 working days.

More info on WDD Blue Fridays Initiative bluefridays – Diabetes Social Media Advocacy can be found here
Thank you and keep the awareness alive.

Monday, 11 March 2013

The Birth of @theNGdoc

The Nigeria Diabetes Online Community #ngdoc @theNGdoc is a nongovernmental, nonprofit making organization established for the purpose of providing sustainable human health development through online social activities like empowerment, education, connection and support for diabetics, diabetes health care providers and advocates in Nigeria.

Since its official launch on twitter on the 1st of March, its growth has been tremendous with the 1st Nigeria Diabetes discussion #ngdoc taking place on the 10th of March,2013 9pm GMT.

The discussion was centered on Diabetes Awareness in Nigeria - how much is too much" co-hosted by @theNGdoc and @diabeticare aimed at accessing the level of awareness and the adequacy of the information about diabetes circulating among nigerians.

The discussion had 23 participants with 182 tweets and 34,885 impressions. Full transcript available here

A big thank you to the #doc for the inspiration and motivation to initiate this laudable step in Nigeria.

Join us on @theNGdoc on twitter and NGDOC on facebook to be a part of this great family.