More than 20 thousand people have received free treatment for Diabetes in Cross River State, south-south Nigeria.
The free treatment for diabetics, which spanned a period of seven years, was instituted by the John Owan-Enoh Foundation for Diabetes to provide support and care to Nigerians especially those at the grassroots.
This year, the foundation chose the Calabar metropolis to mark the 2021 World Diabetes Day with a 5 kilometres street sensitization walk flagged off by the deputy governor of Cross River State, Professor Ivara Esu.
Senator John Owan-Enoh, a former senator representing the central senatorial district and gubernatorial candidate on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in an interview with newsmen described the 2021 theme “Access to Diabetes Care” as apt.
Owan-Enoh said that the foundation was established sequel to a personal experience with a member of his family, who was diagnosed as diabetic.
“The 14th of November was set aside as World Diabetes Day and statistics has it that about 6 million Nigerians are suffering from diabetes.
When I turned 50 years in 2016, I set up the foundation because my younger brother, who is a catholic priest went to the US (United States of America).
After several years, he came back home a diabetic.
“I know how much the management of his condition was taking.
Then I knew diabetes was a silent killer.
But now, we are going through the COVID-19 pandemic, if you look at the literature on the pandemic, you are going to discover that diabetic patients are one of the most vulnerable people in terms of COVID-19.
“It is increasingly important that we call people’s attention by way of sensitization.
We are also doing free sugar tests for people to know their status.
I think that a society that lacks knowledge is an ignorant one and this foundation is my own contribution.
We need to create awareness among the people to inform them of this danger of diabetics,” the Senator said.
Owan-Enoh further stated, “Since this foundation was setup in 2016, this is the first time we are having this walk-in calabar.
In previous years, we have been marking the event in Ikom.
The fact that we are in Calabar this year, shows that we are growing and expanding.
By 2030, we think that we would have been able to create more than 90 percent sensitization and awareness as well as attract international attention.
He said that the foundation besides conducting tests and providing drugs was distributing food items to those undergoing treatment.
The 2021 event featured free blood sugar, malaria and HIV/AID testing.
Cross River: Foundation provides free treatment for Diabetes