Determined to reduce the number of Nigerians suffering from diabetes and high sugar-related illnesses currently affecting about 3.6 million Nigerians, Roche Diabetes Care (DC) Nigeria, has started empowering healthcare professionals to embrace an integrated diabetes management approach.
This approach involved educating and mentoring patients to adopt a personalised diabetes management approach in addition to regular in-clinic blood sugar assessment.
By empowering healthcare professionals through a three-month training initiative, tagged ‘Healthcare Practitioner in Diabetes Mentorship Programme,’ Roche intends to create a platform for education and mentoring for healthcare professionals across Nigeria and to improve access to diabetes care in the communities.
This training will reduce low awareness among doctors and nurses about the importance of routine blood glucose testing, low self-monitoring among patients, and the economic burden of frequent monitoring.
Speaking to journalists, Tosin Akinsulire, product manager at Roche Diabetes Care, said Nigeria has an alarmingly low frequency of blood glucose monitoring among people with diabetes.
According to Akinsulire, one of the primary reasons for this is the reliance on in-clinic blood glucose values for assessment, which is not sufficient to achieve better outcomes for patients on a broader scale.
Akinsulire said the Roche Diabetes HCP Mentorship Programme focuses on long-term capacity building through increased investment in research and development, ultimately working towards improving lives – today and for future generations.
He said that the programme will provide a platform for seasoned experts and mentors, including Olufemi Fasanmade, considered as the grandfather of diabetes in Nigeria to conduct interactive sessions and share their experiences, discuss real-local data, and provide practical guidance.
The aim is to train 350 HCPs and raise 200 advocates. This diverse group includes general practitioners, residents, senior registrars, endocrinologists, nurses and pharmacists from tertiary and secondary hospitals.
The programme has shown positive results, with 263 healthcare practitioners across 63 hospitals completing training sessions in the five targeted cities.
Olufemi Fasanmade, professor of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, said the education and mentoring provided to healthcare professionals will create great value for the community in Nigeria by facilitating the sharing of experience, data-driven insights, practical perspectives and knowledge transfer from experienced experts to younger professionals.
“It will equip us as healthcare providers with the skills and understanding we need to implement personalised diabetes care effectively – for the good of more patients in Nigeria and beyond,” Fasanmade said.
The HCP Mentorship Programme is a pivotal stride towards improving access to care by revolutionising diabetes management in Nigeria, effectively bridging gaps, elevating patient outcomes and standardising integrated diabetes care throughout the nation.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes has a prevalence of 3.7 percent in Nigeria, affecting around 3.6 million people and is on the rise.
However, effective diabetes management remains a pressing concern in the country, with a rising burden of diabetes complications and deaths and a significant strain on public health systems already under considerable pressure.