Karachi: “Pakistan is a country where diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate. With an estimated seven million people in Pakistan living with diabetes, 50 per cent are unaware of the disease and only 0.25m people achieve their treatment targets and living healthy life with diabetes. Unless and until we realize the importance of creating awareness about the disease, every hour 10 persons will continue to die due to diabetes-related complications.”
This was stated by Novo Nordisk Pakistan’s general manager Rana Azfar Zafar while receiving the National CSR Award 2016 at the 5th Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards 2016 ceremony, for envisaging and implementing novoCare – diabetes awareness and education services for changing diabetes in Pakistan.
Being global leaders in diabetes care and committed to social responsibility, Novo Nordisk Pakistan initiated the programme through which a team of 60 diabetes educators has been providing free education and counselling people with diabetes and their families in OPDs and healthcare institutions across Pakistan. In 2015, novoCare arranged more than 26,000 education camps for people with diabetes and their families across Pakistan and whereby more than 250,000 people were educated about diabetes, its symptoms, preventive measures, healthy diet and exercise, including measures to take during conditions of hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia foot care.
Rana Zafar stressed that the major contributors of death rate and complications are unawareness about diabetes, urbanization, improper treatment, denial from diabetes, social factors, the cost-burden on families and psychological impact on diabetics. He shared that most of the people go through denial and depression when they are first diagnosed with diabetes and this stops them from getting treatment for the disease, making self-management, including support from society and family important aspects in diabetes management. “Self-management can be improved by interest and involvement of family and their education.
Education and counselling would help the patients feeling normal and equivalent to other individuals of the society. Objective of novoCare is, therefore, to create an environment where everyone has access to information, care and better treatment so people can live a better quality of life with diabetes”, he added.
The novoCare programme also provided special person-centered diabetes care during Ramadan and for those travelling to perform Hajj. People were trained about what they should eat during Ramadan, when and how many times they should check their blood glucose levels, how to take insulin when fasting and what exercises they can do during that.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), it is estimated that by 2035, Pakistan will be the 8th largest nation with diabetes.