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Federal, provincial govts asked to provide medicines to diabetic, chronic patients

November 13, 2022

PESHAWAR: Despite being diagnosed with diabetes and other chronic illnesses, thousands of patients in Pakistan cannot afford to buy medicines and insulin which made leading health experts ask the federal and provincial governments to launch programs for the provision of free medication to the needy and deserving patients besides taking preventive measures to control Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

“Diabetes, obesity, hyperthyroidism, osteoporosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome and reproductive health issues are some of the major chronic illnesses which need immediate attention of high-ups. Hundreds of thousands of diagnosed patients need medicines on daily basis but they can’t afford the treatment”, Dr Ibrar Ahmed, President Pakistan Endocrine Society (PES) said while speaking at the inaugural session of the 20th Annual Conference of the Society.

Hundreds of diabetologists, endocrinologists, senior professors and researchers are attending the three-day moot at a local hotel in Peshawar to discuss the prevention and treatment of endocrine disorders and to present recommendations to the authorities for lifestyle diseases including diabetes, obesity and other disorders.

Dr Ibrar Ahmed maintained that as part of their social responsibility, the Pakistan Endocrine Society has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Balochistan governments for diabetes awareness as Pakistan could not afford to treat 33 million diabetics, whose number is going to reach 62 million by 2045 if preventive measures are not taken.

“Diabetes screening, diagnosis and management centres are being established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the tehsil level for the early detection of the lifestyle disease where the new onset of diabetes has reached up to 16 per cent in the young population”, he said, adding that local research and awareness were keys to prevent Pakistan from diabetes.

Speaking about the burden of osteoporosis in Pakistan, leading endocrinologist Prof. A.H. Aamir said around 40-50 per cent of the Pakistani population had osteoporosis, the disease that weakens bones to the point where they break easily— most often, bones in the hip, backbone (spine), and wrist.

“Sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet are the two main factors behind causing osteoporosis in people above the age of 40, especially women. People don’t realize the importance of exercise, doing physical activities and eating a healthy and balanced diet. Such people live a miserable life and depend on medicines to live a normal life in the years ahead”, Prof. A.H Amir added.

Calling for creating awareness among people about osteoporosis, he said the Pakistan Endocrine Society was not only holding awareness sessions for common people but was also holding training sessions for the doctors from entire Pakistan so that they early detect and use modern medication and techniques to treat their patients.

Senior professor Dr Arshad Hussain urged the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) to register some essential drugs badly needed and widely used in Pakistan but as these drugs were not registered in the country, were being smuggled into Pakistan from India, Turkey, Iran, Dubai and other countries.

“Erectile dysfunction is an important issue and there are thousands of patients having this condition due to diabetes. These patients need some medicines which are not produced in Pakistan so they are smuggled from other countries. DRAP is urged to make these medicines available by registration facility”, Dr Arshad Hussain.

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