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Karachi: Diabetes is a bigger pandemic than COVID-19, which is killing more people in low and middle income countries like Pakistan than Coronavirus, experts claimed on Wednesday, warning that the number of people with diabetes could reach up to 100 million in Pakistan by 2045 if immediate steps were not taken by the authorities and people together.

“There are around 20 million people living with type-2 diabetes in Pakistan but alarmingly, there are around 20 million people more who are unaware that they have diabetes. If immediate steps are not taken jointly by the authorities and the government, it is feared that number of people having diabetes in Pakistan alone can surpass the figure of 100 million in next 26 years”, renowned endocrinologist and President of Pakistan Endocrine Society (PES) Dr. Ibrar Ahmed told launching ceremony of 200 diabetes clinics throughout Pakistan here on Wednesday.

Under the banner of ‘Discovering Diabetes Project’, a network of 200 clinics has been established by the Pakistan Endocrine Society (PES) in collaboration with local pharmaceutical firm, Pharmevo, to track, screen, access and prevent diabetes and create awareness about the disease for the people who are at risk of developing diabetes in Pakistan.

Over 100 consultant diabetologists, general physicians and healthcare professionals from public and private health facilities in Karachi, who linked their clinics with Discovering Diabetes Project were present on the occasion while others joined the ceremony online from their respective cities and towns in the country.

Dr. Ibrar Ahmed maintained that diabetes is spreading at an alarming speed in Pakistan, which is ranked 4th in the world, second among 21 countries in the Middle East and North African region for having the highest number of diabetic patients. He warned that if immediate steps were not taken, Pakistan could have over 100 diabetics by the end of 2045.

“Recently, we held a screening camp in one of cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where we found 125 diabetics after screening 460 people, which is around 27 percent. Of these 125 diabetics, 16 percent were newly diagnosed as they did not know that they had diabetes”, Dr. Ibrar Ahmed revealed and urged people to take advantage of the ‘Discovering Diabetes Project’ to get themselves and their family members screened for the lifestyle disease.

He maintained that in collaboration with Pharmevo, they have established a network of 200 clinics throughout Pakistan where people can get diabetes consultation, while a helpline has been made operational to assist people who are at risk of having diabetes. He said that these efforts are part of National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) to control the prevalence of diabetes in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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