KARACHI– International and National Diabetes specialists have expressed concerns on the alarmingly increasing rate of diabetes in urban as well as rural areas of Pakistan. They stressed upon educating the people and care givers to prevent this disease.
Speaking at the Sanofi’s Diabetes Conference, the panel of medical experts led by Secretary General of the Diabetic Association of Pakistan and Honorary President International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Prof. Samad Shera, stated that diabetic cases have doubled in comparison to the survey conducted in 1990’s, and currently 24% population of Pakistan is living with this disease. He further added that, the rate of increase is due to change in lifestyle, excessive use of mobiles and televisions. He explained that in past, incidence of diabetes was high in urban areas of Pakistan like other countries but now lifestyle modification has changed the entire country’s health situation.
Prof. Samad Shera stressed over the implementation of a healthier lifestyle, followed by regular screening for diabetes, particularly for those at high risk. He urged Pakistanis to follow the IDF slogan ‘Eat less, Walk more’.
Coordinated efforts of policy makers, diabetic patients, paramedics, physicians, press and partnerships are essential to control the increasing burden of diabetes.
President, International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Prof. Nam Han Cho, stated that medical education and awareness is the key to preventing diabetes.
President, Croatian Society for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Dr. Dario Rahelic, added that un-diagnosed diabetic patients are the real challenge for majority of the countries, as only few countries have succeeded in diagnosing all patients, whereas some countries are still facing problems in diagnosing hidden cases.
Senior Program Advisor, International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Prof Massimo Massi Benedetti- said, “Today, plenty of gold medalists at the Olympics have diabetes. Fear of hypoglycemia is impacting behavior that has negative consequences on the onset of complications. Insulin therapy should be initiated quite soon when control is not achieved through oral agents. Doctors should focus on personalized needs of the patient when considering insulin therapy.”
Sanofi and the Diabetic Association of Pakistan (DAP) collaborated to bring renowned international diabetes experts from globally recognized centers of academic excellence to address the 5th International Diabetes Conference.
The conference, now in its fifth consecutive year, was held in 3 cities of Pakistan: Lahore (April 1), Islamabad (April 3) and Karachi (April 5). A cumulative audience of around 700 healthcare professionals attended the conference, along with almost 200 more, that connected digitally. Experts shared their opinions, insights, perspectives and best practices with healthcare professionals from across Pakistan.
Diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate in Pakistan. According to the IDF Diabetes Atlas (8th edition – 2017) there are currently more than 7.5 million people with diabetes in Pakistan.