As a child, I did not understand the gravity of the ailment; I would wonder why my dad had to inject himself, take so many pills daily and not eat any of the carbohydrate foods we had.
Mr. Toovic, as my dad was fondly called, was such a strong man; he fought to stay alive despite the many challenges that accompanied living with diabetes in Nigeria. Unfortunately, we lost him to the battle in 2014; I was just 17 years old.
Having experienced the pains of losing a parent to diabetes, you can imagine how horrified I was when my mother was diagnosed with it too.
The struggle began again with several visits to the hospital, different tests being carried out, the diet she had to be on, the drugs, and so on; it really felt like deja vu. I cannot even begin to explain the financial implications of this development on my family. We have had to pay out of our pockets for every health care service my widowed mother ever got.
When I heard about the Edo State Government’s partnership with the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) to bring quality medical care to the people of the State for free, I thought it was just a facade.
I reluctantly asked my mother to visit the Oredo Primary Healthcare Centre to see what was happening.
To my utmost surprise, my mother testified that the Physicians were actually on ground and that people were being attended to. She added that the process was seamless; the doctors examined her and carried out some tests before prescribing drugs that were given to her free of charge. She was also asked to return at a later date for a follow-up on her progress.
My mother attested that after using the drugs, she felt and slept a lot better than she had in a long time.
I must commend the State Government and the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) for this laudable initiative. The medical attention that my mother received will in no small measure, reduce the financial burden on my family and so many other benefiting families in the State. It will also ensure the improved health and general well-being of the people of the State.
I really hope that such is replicated across the 36 States of the Federation.