Health experts from the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) and beyond have called for a national action plan to prevent and treat all non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, and said that Provincial governments and all other stakeholders need to be bound by the plan. The prices of diabetes medicines should be reduced by 25%, and free medical supplies should be made available in all the district headquarters hospitals.
These experts included Dr Khubaib Shahid, the central president of the PIMA, Prof. Hafiz Ijaz Ahmad (Lahore), Dr Shabbir Ahmad, Dr Iftikhar Burney (Islamabad), Prof. Abdullah Muttaqi (Karachi), Prof. Fasih Ahmad Hashmi (Hyderabad), Prof. Gulshan Hussain Farooqi (Swat), Prof. Muhammad Tayab (Peshawar), Dr Sarwar Badini (Quetta), Dr Abdul Rehman (Bhimber) and others. They pushed for awareness and screening programs across the country on world diabetes day on Sunday.
These programs were arranged by Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) for the general public at over 100 places. People from different walks of life participated in large numbers.
Experts urged people to have effective control of diabetes through a balanced diet, regular exercise and medication. They added that diabetes is fatal in terms of consequences and causes many other diseases like heart, kidney, and eye diseases. They demanded the Government make sure that children are made aware of the importance of healthy living, a healthy diet, dental hygiene, and all kinds of dangers of smoking/drug use in the primary education curriculum. This way, future generations could be prevented from these diseases and disabilities by getting information and education. The Government should increase the tax on artificial sweeteners and spend its revenue on increasing the treatment facilities for these diseases. Paramedical staff in Pakistan should be trained appropriately to bandage the wounds of diabetics so that thousands of people can be saved from disability due to the amputation of their feet.
They further said that the concerned institutions require an effective check and balance measures on the cost of Diabetes diagnosis tests and especially on their quality.
They concluded that PIMA is striving to educate and prevent the disease through their 20 free diabetes clinic in different cities and support all government efforts in this regard.