Remove Import Duties On Essential Drugs For Diabetes, Cancer, NGO Tells FG

The Diabetes Control Media Advocacy Initiative, a media-based non-governmental organisation, has called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency remove import duties on essential drugs, especially for those used in managing patients with diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

The organisation said the FG should consider the removal as part of measures to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.

It noted that removing import duties on essential drugs would reduce the increased cost of managing diseases in the country.

The NGO also urged both Federal and state governments to make diabetes management free to children and the elderly.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Afoke Isiavwe and Executive Director, Sam Eferaro, DICOMAI decried the present high costs of drugs following the removal of fuel subsidies and other policies in the country.

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The organisation urged the government to, as a matter of urgency, come up with measures to make drugs and other medical interventions affordable for the poor.

The statement read, “We commend President Bola Tinubu for his swift intervention in some key areas of the Nigerian economy and attempts to bring succour to the poor masses in these hard times.

“However, we wish to draw his attention to the precarious situation people seeking health care are now facing.

“We believe, their plight can be urgently addressed through fresh policies that will impact directly on their conditions.”

The organisation noted that access to affordable drugs has become difficult for patients living with non-communicable diseases particularly those with diabetes, thereby fueling the morbidity and mortality