Friday December 08, 2023

Our economy can’t deal with epidemic of deaths and disability due to diabetes: experts

By Our Correspondent
February 03, 2023

Pakistan cannot bear the economic burden of treating millions of people with diabetes where people as young as 25 to 35 years of age are contracting diabetes due to a sedentary lifestyle, an unhealthy diet and obesity, officials and experts have warned.

They have urged the authorities to come up with a national action plan to tackle the growing burden of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country. “The health of Pakistani people is deteriorating and young people are contracting non-communicable diseases at an alarming pace due to sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. Pakistan’s health system is also in shambles while the economy is not in a position to bear the burden of millions of diabetics, cardiovascular disease and other NCDs,” Karachi University Vice Chancellor Prof Khalid Iraqi at an awareness seminar on diabetes held at the campus the other day.

Prior to the seminar, a large number of students, faculty members and employees carrying banners and placard inscribed with messages against diabetes marched from the Silver Jubilee gate of the varsity till the administration block to highlight the importance of physical activity in the prevention of diseases.

Held under the auspices of ‘Discovering Diabetes’, a project of local pharmaceutical firm PharmEvo, the walk and the seminar were addressed by leading diabetologists and cardiologists, pharmacists and university professors. They highlighted the importance of physical activity, awareness, early diagnosis and preventive measures that could help in lowering the burden of lifestyle diseases in Pakistan. Free screening test facilities for teachers, students, and employees were also provided outside the Arts Auditorium.

“As a nation we need to move away from myths and adopt realism. If the rate of diabetes continues to increase rapidly and we do not take serious measures to prevent this disease by failing to change our lifestyle, Pakistan will be at the top of the list of countries with diabetes,” Prof Iraqi warned.

He acknowledged the role of the PharmEvo in promoting awareness regarding the spread of diabetes, and said that they had launched a very good initiative Discovering Diabetes. He hoped that it would play a vital role in minimising the prevalence of diabetes in the country.