By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Former President, Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo said he battled diabetes for over 35 years despite killing some of his friends.
Obasanjo lamented that many of his friends died of diabetes because they were unable to manage the disease.
The former president said this on Wednesday during the closing ceremony of the Ogun State Diabetes Youth Development Camp held in Abeokuta.
The camp, which was organised by Talabi Diabetes Centre trained 21 young people reportedly living with type-1 diabetes in the state on how to manage the disease.
Obasanjo while advising the young patients maintained that diabetes is not a killer disease.
He revealed that he goes around with his drugs and testing kits so as to ensure he has the right blood sugar level.
He stressed that he was above 80 years and could engage in every activities despite being diabetic.
The former president, however, urged young patients to follow prescriptions given to them in managing the disease.
He said: “I have been diagnosed of diabetes for more than 35 years now and here I am, I’m still going about, I’m still jumping up and down, I’m still doing many things many people of my age cannot do.
“Since I was diagnosed of diabetes, a number of my friends have died and the reason is because they just did not manage their diabetes the way they should manage it.
“It does not matter whether you are type one or type two, so far there is no cure for diabetes, maybe there will be cure before I die, but I pray that there will be cure before you die.
“You have to understand the type of food you should eat, you must completely abstain from sugar. The amount of carbohydrates that you take must be watched.
“Don’t miss your drugs, in your own case, your insulin injection, I take my drugs along with me everywhere I go and I always check my blood sugar level regularly.
“Don’t let anybody put fear in your minds, diabetes, has no cure for now, but it can be managed.”
In his remarks, the camp coordinator, Dr Olubiyi Adesina said the camp was organised to give information and encourage the young people between age 1 and 21 living with type-1 diabetes.
Adesina said: “These young people are on insulin injection depending on the dose, it is costly. Averagely, each one of them will be spending close to N20,000 a month on insulin injection alone. And that’s for the rest of their lives, so, it is very expensive to manage this.
“Now we have organized this program for young people living with type-1 diabetes to give them a lot of information on how to manage themselves.
“Type-1 diabetes is a lifelong disease and we tend to see it in young children and it requires daily insulin injection for life for them to survive.
“If they stop giving them this injection, they are likely to go into coma in a few days and eventually die. So, we have brought them together and give them the necessary information needed for survival.”