Background: The Medical columnist has not always been welcomed by the Medical Community.The Lancet, in its August 30, 1873 editorial had pointed out with regrets that a weekly periodical, the English Mechanic and World of Science had inaugurated a medical column edited by a member of the London medical establishment. The editorial had concluded that we cannot but regard such conduct as an infraction of the etiquette of the profession, and hardly worthy of a Fellow of the College of Physicians and officer of a London hospital. What was squashed more than a century ago as being unacceptable is today understood and supported. Diabetes is a disease state in which education plays a highly significant role in prevention and management. The Nigerian media; both print and electronic has been awash over the last decade with half truths and outright falsehood about diabetes peddled by self-styled alternative medicine Consultants.
Methods: A Column titled Diabetes corner ran from February 2009 to March 2016 in The Sunday Sun, Nigerias widest circulating Newspaper. The column educated individuals with and without diabetes. Readers were given the opportunity of communicating with the authour via voice calls, short message services (SMS) or email.
Results: Three thousand, nine hundred and twenty six (3926) SMS messages were received.
|Life expectancy with diabetes||72||1.8|
|Prevention of diabetes||74||1.9|
|Fears about insulin use||82||2.1|
|Cure for diabetes||650||16.6|
|Worries about poor control||752||19.2|
|Efficacy of herbal remedies||882||22.5|
Conclusion: Newspapers are a viable resource in educating the populace. Orthodox medical practitioners must pick up the gauntlet of diabetes education and begin to use the print media to counter the currentlt prevalent misinformation and superstitions about diabetes.