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Dr Saleem Qureshi, Head of the Department of Medicines KRL Hospital said this while addressing a seminar held at the end of a walk commemorating the World Diabetes Day held at the Aiwan-e-Quaid, F-9 Park here on Saturday. Alliance for Diabetes and Liver Diseases had organized the event. A large number of diabetic patients, members of civil society, health professionals and general public had turned up to get awareness about the deadly disease and its prevention.
Former Inspector General of Police and ex-Tax Ombudsperson Dr Shoaib Suddle who is also patron-in-chief of the Alliance, eminent nutritionist Dr Salma Badruddin, noted artist Zeba Bakhtiar and Imran Abbas also attended the seminar and shared with the audience their views regarding how to control the rising incidence of diabetes in Pakistan.
Dr Qureshi said in Pakistan the number of diabetes patients is steadily increasing. At present there are seven million diabetes patients and in next twenty years, the number can reach almost double i.e. 13 million. In the developing countries out of every 4 patients, three are diabetic, deplored Dr Saleem Qureshi calling upon the people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and avoid fats and sweetened dishes.
He attributed bulkiness as the major cause of diabetics. “Unless we start exercise and be mindful of our diet we cannot get rid of this looming threat on our heads,” said he.
Dr Shoaib Suddle drew the audience’s attention towards the grim fact that 10 persons are dying every one hour due to diabetes related complications. Incidence of diabetes is highest in South Asia because of the unregulated eating patterns of the people of this region, said he. However he expressed optimism that diabetes is preventable and total cost for the treatment of diabetic patient is around $55. Regular walk and healthy (not excessive) diet are the two main factors to check diabetes, he said.
He wished Dr Saleem Qureshi and his team good luck and commended their efforts for generating awareness about the disease among people.
Earlier, Dr Salma Burhanuddin gave a detailed presentation of diabetes and its impact on human health. Diabetes not only affects men’s health, women especially pregnant women become an easy target of the disease, she said. Diabetes affects women’s ability to conceive and most of its victims are from average income groups, she said. Like Dr Suddle she said awareness is the first step towards prevention of diabetes. She asked the families that were present in the Aiwan-e-Quaid in large number to discourage their children from excessive intake of potato chips, French Fries, noodles which are generally considered normal healthy food for kids.
Similarly, she said dry fruit in excess can also raise the sugar level in blood. Flour should be used instead of maida and rice should be taken with pulses, she advised. Imran Abbas TV and film star shared with the audience that his mother was a sugar patient and in the beginning she was scared of insulin, but when she came to know how effective it is in sugar control, she is taking it willingly. He asked the youth to promise that they would adopt a healthy life style and avoid late and excessive food. Dr Amir Awan the eye specialist warned the audience about diabetes’ bad effects on eyesight. Zeba Bakhtiar said she supported the noble cause Alliance for Diabetes and Liver Diseases was taking along for awareness about and prevention of diabetes.