By Christian Njoku
Dr. Ofem Enang, a Consultant Endocrinologist with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, (UCTH) has said Nigeria cannot fight diabetes prevalence with just six per cent budgetary allocation for health.
Enang disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Calabar.
The consultant who called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to improve funding for health to at least 15 per cent of the nation’s budgetary allocation as approved globally, said Nigeria had never done more than six per cent.
According to him, around the world access to medicine has become a right but this is challenged by the unequal distribution of wealth across the nations.
He said care for diabetic patients was expensive but imperative even in the less developed or poorer nations and must start with basic diabetic education so that they can help themselves.
“It is important for diabetics to have access to their medicines and kits, however, this can only be possible if universal health coverage is accessible.
“Universal health coverage is very important, this is why governments in every nation must continue to do everything in their power to make their people access care.
“Health Insurance instead of out of pocket expenses is the way to go for people especially diabetes patients to access care,” he said.
He commended the Federal Government for enacting the National Health Insurance Authority, (NHIA) act which was an improvement for more people to be able to access healthcare.
He said doing this would help the nation capture most of the persons who ordinarily would not be able to access care if they were to pay out of pocket.