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Scarcity, forex crunch push up prices of blood sugar, BP monitors by over 100% in one year 

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Every morning, 30-year-old Ejiro Paul checks on her aging parents, both of whom rely on daily monitoring to manage their diabetes and hypertension.  

Last week, their blood sugar monitor malfunctioned, and their blood pressure cuff began to give erratic readings. Determined to ensure her parents’ health, Ejiro set out to replace these essential devices.  

However, she was stunned to find that the cost of new monitors had skyrocketed since 2023, making it nearly impossible for her to afford the replacements. 

In recent years, the prices of blood sugar and blood pressure monitors have surged by as much as 200%, leaving many individuals like Ejiro struggling with the financial burden of managing chronic health conditions.  

Blood sugar and blood pressure monitors are essential tools for individuals managing diabetes and hypertension, two of the most prevalent chronic conditions in Nigeria.  

According to the World Health Organization, Nigeria has one of the highest rates of hypertension in Africa, with an estimated 31.2% of adults affected.  

Similarly, the International Diabetes Federation reports that over five million Nigerians are living with diabetes.  

Regular monitoring is crucial for these individuals to maintain their health, avoid complications, and reduce the risk of life-threatening events such as heart attacks and strokes.  

These monitors enable users to track their health metrics accurately and make informed decisions about their diet, medication, and lifestyle. 

Before the significant price surge in recent years, blood sugar and blood pressure monitors were relatively affordable and accessible in Nigeria.  

Naijaonpoint has compiled the current prices of commonly used blood sugar monitors and blood pressure monitors in Nigeria against their prices in 2023.  

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Naijaonpoint spoke to pharmacists at both wholesale and retail pharmacies, who reported a significant scarcity of both blood pressure and blood sugar monitors.  

An Abuja-based pharmacist, Dr Ife Ihiemeka, said some of the products are currently scarce and, where available, expensive. 

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 33.69% from 33.2% in March. The country has experienced significant inflation in recent years, impacting the prices of goods and services across the board.  

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 33.69% from 33.2% in March. The country has experienced significant inflation in recent years, impacting the prices of goods and services across the board.  

With the rising prevalence of chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension in Nigeria, there has been a growing demand for monitoring devices.  

Financial burden 

Speaking with patients, Naijaonpoint found out how the steep increase in the prices of blood sugar and blood pressure monitors has placed a significant financial burden on many Nigerians. 

Individuals managing chronic conditions often need to replace these devices regularly to ensure accurate readings.  

The higher costs have made it difficult for some to afford these replacements, potentially compromising their ability to monitor their health effectively. 

For those unable to afford the higher prices, the inability to regularly monitor their blood sugar and blood pressure levels can lead to severe health complications.  

Uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other life-threatening conditions. The financial strain may force some individuals to forego regular monitoring, leading to poorer health outcomes. 

The Nigerian Hypertension Society has said that there is a need for government intervention to address the rising costs of medical devices. Policies that promote local manufacturing of these devices could help reduce dependence on imports and mitigate the impact of currency fluctuations.  

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