of medicaments, erectile dysfunction and diabetes

i have apparently been living under a rock (aka the United States) since it is only recently that I heard of the great Dr. Louis Obyo Obyo Nelson, who has been touted to have found a "cure" for diabetes.

last week, several Nigerian newspapers, including ThisDay, celebrated Nelson as a home-grown national hero, relishing the idea that something good has finally come out of Nigeria. Recently appointed Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong echoes such sentiments by describing Nelsons' "medicament" as historical....one would think Obama was being elected all over again considering the excitement that has been generated over the past few days.

why this news bothers me....let me count the ways....or rather let me start with the positives. In light of a piece I wrote some time back for mimimagazine about the growing, yet silent, dangers of chronic disease amongst Nigerians, I am quite elated that a discussion of diabetes has taken a prominent place in national headlines. The World Health Organization predicts that in Nigeria, mortality due to infectious disease, maternal/perinatal conditions AND nutritional deficiencies are expected to decline by 6% by 2015. However, in that same period, deaths due to diabetes and related conditions are expected to increase by 52% (please check my numbers, i just lifted this from and old assignment). I expect that this is largely due to the fact that we hardly talk about chronic disease on a national scale in Nigeria - or in developing nations in general....and when we do - its a whole lot of misinformation. But at least, diabetes is getting some shine time.

and speaking of misinformation, this brings me to my dear Dr. Nelson. from some work I did in the East sometime ago, I made the crude observation that many talk about chronic diseases, such as diabetes, as a condition to be cured. I guess the infectious disease model of you have an infection which requires a drug to rid the body of that foreign body is being applied to diabetes as well. I have encountered several Nigerian patients, family and friends who have either sought a cure for their diabetes or claimed to have been cured - medically, spiritually, or otherwise. Such thinking, my friends, is dangerous. This is because, in thinking that they are cured, diabetics abandon needed treatment/monitoring to keep their ever-fluctuating blood sugar levels under control. So when Nelson talks of a cure for diabetes, not only am I highly suspicious, but also, I am greatly concerned at the message he and his unofficial advertisers (Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong) are sending to folks. Now if Nelson's medicament (you can tell I am totally digging this my new word, medicament...) could manage diabetes....then all well and good.

several people have cited that the credibility of Nelson's claim lies in the fact that he's getting an almighty US patent and is working in conjunction with GDPAU - which I found out is a school of Ayurvedic medicine in New Jersey of all places (thanks google). Honestly people, I could scrape dandruff off my weave, bottle it, medicament-ize it and submit it for a US Patent - as long as someone has not done it before. I just hope that ordinary Nigerians are not the ones to suffer from some wuru wuru clinical trial remiscent of my other good friend, Pfizer.

oops....i lied....apparently Nigerians are indeed the guinea pigs of Nelson's drug.....forgot to read the rest of the ThisDay article....its really late....

now, you may have noticed that the title of this post mentioned erectile dysfunction....well, not only was it a carefully crafted ploy to get more hits on my blog....Nelson has also claimed that a side effect of this drug includes improved sexual function. Considering that erectile dysfunction and diabetes almost go hand-in-hand for men, I would be quite impressed with any drug that addresses both diabetes and prior vascular damage caused by diabetes that leads to erectile dysfunction....and that's about all I have to say about erectile dysfunction and related medicaments.

by the way, I am very pro-alternative and complementary medicine....its just that at the same token, i am anti-misinformation....


  1. laspapi said...:

    I enjoyed every post on your page.

  1. Obla yoo said...:

    What's the make-up of this medicament? or is it top secret? How is it supposed to work? how does it "cure" diabetes? even if it CONTROLS the disease, how does it do so? Is anyone asking this guy any of these questions?

  1. KG said...:

    *sigh* Here we go again. The latest Nigerian to come out with a cure for something. It's really gone past the point of embarrassing and annoying.

    Nneoma, like you said, we ignore the chronic part of the equation. That's not to say people cannot be cured medically or spiritually or otherwise. But there's such a tendency to over-spiritualize stuff too which drives me nuts.

    Obla yoo, asking the guy any of those questions is not going to make any difference. Nigerians have absolutely no notion of accountability whatsoever. The very concept does not exist in their psyche.

  1. Jaycee said...:

    Did the Minister of State of the Federal Ministry of Health know what he was commending Nelson for? Because I don't understand why.

  1. Muse said...:

    nice one. truth is, in a nation that is notorious for unfounded "facts", one needs to be careful in order not to fall into the hands of executive fraudsters.

    having said that, i still believe that we need to give a level of credit to our Nigerian scientists, especially those based here, and encourage them to do more.

    It's nice to see another "Abian who, though in the USA, still has the passion of Nigeria in her.

    Congrats, I say.o

  1. Omo Oba said...:

    lol@dandruff patent! man, this is a post on point! Misinformation or plain ignorance...hm, you put it best when you wrote "wuru wuru." I am supposing this "cure" is all herbal stuff! It is sad but it is our over-religiousness (sorry I cant think of a better word) that contributes in part to dragging Africa in the mud...our focus on tradtion and religion in part (I just opened a can of worms) hinders us from having a scientific perspective. Like you, I do not think complementary medicine is foul, but when do we draw the line between "wuru wuru medicine" and real medicine?

  1. Anonymous said...:
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  1. LUKAS said...:

    Even when a person is cured of malaria, he could still be infected if exposed to the parasite. So I stil don't understand your challenge about cure or no cure. Dr. Nelson did a commendable work....keep your skepticism to yourself.

  1. LUKAS said...:

    Even when a person is cured of malaria, he could still be infected if exposed to the parasite. So I stil don't understand your challenge about cure or no cure. Dr. Nelson did a commendable work....keep your skepticism to yourself.