Former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo says that diabetes only kills those who are careless about its treatment.
Obasanjo made the statement on Friday in Abeokuta when he led hundreds of people on a road walk to sensitise the populace on the disease and how to manage it.
The road walk was organised by the South West Zone of the Diabetes Association of Nigeria (DAN) in collaboration with the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), to mark the 2017 World Diabetes Day.
The two kilometre walk which began at the OOPL, passed through MKO Abiola Way with 15 minutes stop-over at the premises of Sunny Yinka Oil before terminating at the take-off point.
The former president was joined on the walk by the Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, Commissioner for Health in Ogun, Dr Babatunde Ipaye and Chief Executive Officer of the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation, Dr Olalekan Makinde
According to Obasanjo, if a person with diabetes takes care of himself, he will discover that “diabetes is not a killer disease.”
Obasanjo lamented the fact that many youths in the country rarely exercised, saying that because of his lifestyle, in spite of his age, he was still agile and fit.
“Diabetes is not a disease that should kill. I was diagnosed to be diabetic more than 30 years ago but rather I am growing stronger.
“If you don’t believe I am growing strong and you didn’t witness this walk, come and see me at night, you will know I am growing strong.
“Come and see me in the morning, you will know I am growing strong, even in the afternoon; you will know I am growing strong.
“What is necessary is management of diabetes. Some people said some diseases are incurable but diabetes is manageable and compliant.
“My headmaster in primary school was diagnosed at the age of 50 and died at age 85; you will agree with me that he tried.”
He advised diabetics to be mindful of their health and eat healthy
“What to do is that if you’re diabetic don’t be non-chalant about it and don’t eat carelessly.
“Three things are important, the food you eat, regular exercise and prescribed medication, those are the three most important things.
“You can be diabetic and still lives till 100. I don’t know when I will die but I am above 80 and many of youths could not catch up with my pace during the exercise this morning. Many of them were running after me.
“This is my message. Whether you’re diabetic or you have a family or friend who is diabetic; diabetes is not a killer disease or it should not be a killer disease unless you are careless,” Obasanjo added.
In a speech, Akanbi said he was in Abeokuta to support Obasanjo in the awareness walk, advising people to always take their health issues serious.