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Diabetes: Expert tasks pregnant women on routine tests

By Kemi Olatunde
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One out of every eight pregnant women  in Ondo State suffers from  Gestational Diabetes, the Gestational Diabetes Society of Nigeria (GDSN) has  revealed.

To this end,  the World Diabetes Foundation has donated 150 Point of Care Testing device known as Glucometers among others to some health facilities in Ondo State for detection of  the disease.

The disclosure was made by the Principal Investigator, Strategy for Comprehensive Gestational Diabetes Control Project funded by World Diabetes Foundation in Denmark, Dr. Biodun Olagbuji during a feedback meeting on Tuesday in Akure.

He said; “The World Diabetes Foundation supplied 150 Glucometers and at the initial stage, we gave 50 to the Primary Health Care facilities and the remaining 100 is what we are just giving out now so as to sustain the programme.”

According to him, a survey was carried out in the state in the last three years and the discovery was made saying “the prevalence of Gestational Diabetes is high in our society.”

He explained that the  project is aimed at expanding access to Comprehensive Gestational Diabetes Care through screening and diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)among others.

He said; “Some of the objectives of the project is to advocate for a policy on GDM, raise awareness on GDM among pregnant women, capacity building  of health care providers to deliver GDM care services, strengthen infrastructure for improved GDM screening and diagnosis, screening and diagnosis of GDM, establish GDM clinics and determine associated birth outcomes and incidence of Type 2 diabetes among women with GDM among others.”

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Speaking with The Hope, Dr. Olagbuji noted that pregnant women with poorly controlled or undiagnosed GDM could develop kidney failure, cardiac arrest or other abnormalities later in life.

He hinted that the foundation in addition to the Glucometers has also strengthened  the secondary health care facilities of the state with the provision of eight Automated Chemistry Analysers saying “they are the first set of semi automated analysers at the secondary health care level which can analyse a lot of specimen at the same time.

The Gynaecologist who revealed that Gestational Diabetes is common among pregnant women in the Southern Senatorial district of the state, advised pregnant women to  always go for routine tests  to prevent  pregnancy complications.

However, he recommended an adoption of a multi-disciplinary approach to care of pregnant women  while adding  that a policy on comprehensive GDM care be formulated by government.

Also speaking, Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Dipo Durojaye while thanking both the Gestational Diabetes Society of Nigeria and the World Diabetes Foundation for selecting Ondo State as one of the states in which the study took place commended the World Diabetes Foundation for the donated equipment which according to him would boost the health sector.

He hinted that 62 health facilities in the state including eight secondary health facilities and 54 Primary Health Centres were used for the researched project noting that the project came at a time when the tracking of Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance is being given prominence.

While reiterating government’s  resolve to improve the health sector, he implored all to improve their quality of care for both pregnant women and children.

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Speaking earlier, representative of the Executive Secretary, Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr. Tolu Ademujimi thanked the group for the gesture saying “the items would strengthen the health care system.”

He  recommended  a radical approach to getting every pregnant woman tested for diabetes.

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Diabetes: Expert tasks pregnant women on routine tests

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