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November 14, 2019

Community awareness crucial for diabetes control

Islamabad

November 14, 2019

Islamabad : One in every two people living with diabetes is undiagnosed, making it imperative to educate communities about the need to restrain inactive lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, and lack of physical activity, which are among major controllable factors for prevention of diabetes.

This was one of the key messages disseminated at a seminar organised by Shifa International Hospital (SIH) here Wednesday in commemoration of World Diabetes Day (WDD), which is globally observed on November 14 each year.

Senator Khush Bakht Shujat, who is also chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, said the theme of WDD in 2019 focuses on protecting your family by raising awareness about the impact of diabetes. She urged the participants to promote the role of the family in the management, care, prevention and education of diabetes and emphasised how an active lifestyle, regular physical activity, and healthy eating habits can keep one protected from the disease.

Consultant endocrinologist at SIH Dr. Osama Ishtiaq said, overall diabetes prevalence in Pakistan is 19 percent, and 522 million people are currently living with diabetes globally. Most of these cases are type 2 diabetes, which is largely preventable through regular physical activity, a healthy and balanced diet, and the promotion of healthy living environments.

Dr. Osama too underlined the role of families in addressing the modifiable risk factors for type 2 diabetes for patients. “They must be provided with educational and awareness resources and a suitable environment to live and adopt a healthier lifestyle,” he said, adding “type 1 diabetes is not preventable but can be managed with insulin injections.”

Consultant endocrinologist Dr. Umar Yousaf Raja Khan explained that diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Over the long-term, high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues. Diabetes is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation. Early diagnosis and treatment are key elements to prevent the complications of diabetes and achieve healthy outcomes, he stated.

In the end, the CEO of SIH Dr. Manzoor Qazi and Medical Director Dr. Zeeshan Bin Ishtiaque thanked the audience for their participation and emphasized the need for everyone to adopt a healthier lifestyle to overcome risk factors associated with the disease.

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