Indications are rife that in about 10 years time, Rivers State and other South-South States would be faced with an outbreak of diabetes.
An expert in Diabetes, Prof Cornelius Ngochindo, who disclosed this during a sensitisation meeting with staff of the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation (RSNC), recently stated that it is as a result of environmental pollution resulting from oil exploration and exploitation activities in the zone.
The Professor of Diabetology stated that of all causes of diabetes, environment ranks high at 51 per cent.
“Diabetes is a very bad disease that affects all systems of the human being: 22% causes of diabetes is hereditary, 17% is caused by mode of life, 10% caused by pregnancy and drugs, while 51% is caused by environment”, he said.
According to him, such environmental causes include the toxic emitted through gas flares and other petroleum wastes in the air-space, water and land.
“Gas flares with all types of petroleum wastes both in our air-space, water and land are very hazardous to the health of those who live in this (South-South) region”, he said.
He explained that most of the chemicals dumped into waters in the zone are eaten by fishes, “which can be stored up in their systems for years for their growth and upkeep.
These fishes find their ways into our cooking pots through the fishermen”, he said.
In the same vein, atmospheric distribution of poisonous gases produced by oil and gas companies “find their ways into human bodies through the respiratory system”.
The soot currently experienced in Rivers State, he said, is part of the atmospheric emissions.
Ngochindo, who said he cures Diabetes type “B “, noted that if nothing is done to change the trend of toxic emissions in the next ten years, the South-South zone would experience diabetes outbreak.