ISLAMABAD- Like other parts of the globe, the World Diabetes Day is being observed across the country today.
Currently, over seven million people are living with diabetes in Pakistan while another seven million are on the verge of developing diabetes if no preventive measures are taken. It is estimated that the number of diabetic people in Pakistan may reach 14.4m by 2040.
World Diabetes Day was first observed in 1991 by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to create awareness in the world about increasing threat posed by diabetes.
World Health Organization described diabetes as: Diabetes is a chronic, progressive noncommunicable disease (NCD) characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (blood sugar). It occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough of the insulin hormone, which regulates blood sugar, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.
The occasion brings the global diabetes community together in order to create a voice for the awareness of the disease.
World Health Organization stated that around 350 million people in the world suffer diabetes whereas it was the direct cause of some 1.5 million deaths in 2012.
It is projected that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.
Diabetes has two forms. Patients suffering from type 1 don’t produce their own insulin and are in need for vaccines whereas type 2 patients produce their own insulin but not in sufficient quantity or cannot avail it properly.
Type 2 diabetes patients comprise of 90% of all cases are typically overweight.
The effects of diabetes can be minimised as patients suffering from type 1 diabetes can live healthy lives if they keep their blood and sugar levels in control.
“If we are to make any headway in halting the rise in diabetes, we need to rethink our daily lives: to eat healthily, be physically active, and avoid excessive weight gain. Even in the poorest settings, governments must ensure that people are able to make these healthy choices and that health systems are able to diagnose and treat people with diabetes,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of World Health Organization.
Eyes on Diabetes
This year’s theme of World Diabetes Day is Eyes on Diabetes. The year’s activities and materials will focus on promoting the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and treatment to reduce the risk of serious complications.
Diabetes is a huge and growing burden: 415 million adults were living with diabetes in 2015 and this number is expected to increase to around 642 million or one in ten adults by 2040. One in two adults with diabetes is undiagnosed.
Awareness Walk at Presidency
“Awareness of diabetes is the key to control diabetes pandemic in Pakistan. If proper measures for awareness and treatment are not adopted, Pakistan may have eighth highest population of diabetic patients by 2040m,” President Mamnoon Hussain said while addressing Diabetes Awareness Walk and Blue-lightening ceremony held at Presidency yesterday.
The president said such high prevalence of diabetes calls for continued efforts to improve public awareness regarding the disease.
The large-scale event, attended by more than 3,000 people from the Government, diplomatic core, civil society, healthcare institutions, academia and media, was a collaboration between Novo Nordisk Pakistan and SZAMBU (PIMS), Islamabad.
At the event, President Hussain inaugurated various stalls and exhibitions displaying information desks and material on diabetes and conducted a symbolic diabetes walk with the participants to highlight the importance of exercise.
Concluding the event, the president switched on the symbolic blue-light surrounding the Presidency.