Many Nigerians with type 1 diabetes dying due to high cost of insulin –Health experts
Health experts have called on the Nigerian government to subsidise the cost of insulin for patients with type 1 diabetes, noting that the soaring price of the life-saving medication has made life more difficult for patients battling with the health condition.
Type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes is an autoimmune reaction where the body’s defence system attacks the cells that produce insulin.
The health condition affects mainly young people between the ages of 0 – 30, who are majorly dependent on other people to take care of them, the experts noted.
According to the experts, the current harsh economic condition has made insulin injection a heavy burden for patients with type 1 diabetes, adding that many of them are now succumbing to complications and death because of the high cost of the medication that their life depends on.
The experts, Professor of Medicine at the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Adamu Bakari; and Consultant Endocrinologist at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Dr. Kemi Ashubu, speaking in separate interviews noted that due to the high cost of insulin, exacerbated by the current economic situation, indigent people living with the condition can no longer afford the medication, thus dying due to lack of it.
The health experts said that in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of insulin development for human use, the Federal Government should come to the aid of patients living with type 1 diabetes by making it more affordable.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, type 1 diabetes accounts for only 10 per cent of all diabetes cases in the world.
While there are different types of insulin injections, the cost of a vial of insulin injection starts from N2,500 while some others cost as much as N5,000 and above.
People living with type 1 diabetes are dependent on insulin injections for life. Without insulin injections, they succumb to complications from this disease.
The experts noted that the government can assist the patients by subsidising the cost of insulin injections or removing the import duty on it.
Bakari, speaking, said, “Insulin is a life-saving drug for diabetics especially those who have what we call type 1 diabetes.
“For them, insulin is a matter of life and death. They either get insulin or, in a matter of days or weeks, they might succumb to the complications of diabetes.”
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