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August 22, 2016

Call to set up diabetes-specific health centres


August 22, 2016

Global health experts stress need for immediate efforts
to curb prevalence of diabetes in Pakistan


Global health experts urged the government to establish diabetes management and treatment centres all over the country to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment to reduce the rate of mortality and disability owing to the disease, on Sunday.

The discussion was held on the last day of the three-day International Diabetes and Endocrine Congress (IDEC 2016), organised by the Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology and Diabetes Association of Pakistan.

With mortality already a possibility, the disease can cause other life altering complications such as blindness, kidney failure, gangrene, stroke and heart attack, the health experts observed.    

The health authorities were recommended to use modern technology, techniques and research to reduce heart and renal failures by at least 25 percent and decrease diabetes related blindness and lower limb amputations by 50 percent in the coming decade.

Addressing the closing session, BIDE director and co-chairman of IDEC 2016 Prof Dr Abul Basit observed that global health experts had placed Pakistan among countries with a high rate of diabetes prevalence and other related diseases, making it tremendously important for the country to improve its healthcare system.

Keeping the situation at hand in consideration, Prof Basit not only called for management and treatment centres to be set up but also recommended establishing primary healthcare centres at every Taluka and Tehsil level.

Public awareness was an important measure in preventing the disease and could easily be attained by involving the print and electronic media in awareness drives, Prof Basit said.

He added that doctors and paramedics should be given basic awareness while accredited courses should also be designed for training staff specifically dealing with diabetic patients.


Special footwear    

Medical researcher from Italy, Dr Peiro Galasso gave a detailed presentation on preparation of specialised footwear and insoles for diabetes patients.

Another Podiatrist - specialist in diagnosis and treatment of foot disorders - Dr Bent R Neilson, speaking on treatment of foot ulcers observed that the ulcers often led to amputations of the lower limbs. He urged doctors and diabetologists to use specialised footwear to prevent their feet from wounds, ulcers and deadly infections.

Dr Zulfiqarali G Abbas, known Podiatrist based in Africa, urged diabetics to immediately consult a qualified doctor in case they feel any abnormality in their feet, stating, that delay often resulted in amputations and could also cause death in a few years of the operation.

“Around 90 percent of diabetes patients die soon after their feet are amputated,” the doctor observed.

Renowned Diabetologist Prof Dr Zaman Shaikh said the primary diabetes healthcare centres could be established in just Rs23,000 and money for that could easily be raised through the pharmaceutical industry, which, he claimed, was willing to support government in treatment and management of the disease in the country.

“College of Family Medicine and Sir Syed Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology are ready to train doctors and paramedics in running these centres,” Dr Shaikh said.

He further urged people to reduce their weight and do a rigorous walk for at least 30-40 minutes a day to prevent as well as manage diabetes.

A consultant at BIDE, Dr Asmat Nawaz, called for better awareness and treatment facilities at general as well as gynaecology health centres for treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus.

Consultant Endocrinologist at BIDE Dr Saiful Haq called for training and awareness of general practitioners for immediate identification of abnormalities in endocrine glands or secretions so that patients could be referred to qualified Endocrinologists at the earliest. 

The event was attended by health experts from the United States, Australia, UK, Germany, Italy, Australia, Malaysia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Denmark, Tanzania and several other countries.