Diabetes Directly Costs Nigeria $4.5 Billion, Says National Action Plan on Sugar Reduction Coalition

by Ikem Emmanuel

The National Action Plan on Sugar Reduction Coalition revealed that diabetes directly costs Nigeria $4.5 billion, with diabetes patients spending at least N300,000 yearly on healthcare costs. This information was shared at an art exhibition in Abuja commemorating World Diabetes Day, emphasizing the need for action to address the risk of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) from the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

The President of the Diabetes Association of Nigeria, Dr. Alkali Mohammed, highlighted the multifaceted impact of diabetes, affecting various aspects of individuals’ lives and contributing to significant healthcare expenses. He emphasized the need for increased public awareness, prevention efforts, and subsidies for diabetes patients’ medications.

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The coalition advocated for a tax increase on sugar-sweetened beverages from 10% to 20%, aiming to discourage their consumption, improve public health, and generate revenue for the government. The funds generated from this tax, according to experts, should be directed towards public enlightenment, prevention initiatives, subsidizing medications for diabetes patients, and enrolling individuals with NCDs in health insurance schemes. The coalition aims to address the high burden of diabetes in Nigeria and promote healthier lifestyles to reduce the prevalence of NCDs.

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