Pakistan set to become fourth largest diabetic population country

Karachi: Renowned Diabetologist Prof Dr Zaman Shaikh on Wednesday said around 20 million people are suffering from diabetes in Pakistan and the number of these patients is increasing day by day owing to several reasons including obesity, unhealthy lifestyle, lack of exercise, use of fast food and spending of more time before TV and computer.

Dr Zaman Shaikh told PPI that with a prevalence of about 7.6 per cent at present, it is estimated that by 2030, Pakistan will have the fourth largest diabetic population in the world, around 13.8 million diabetic people.

He said that every 10th person is a diabetes patient in our country and nine remaining people are also in risk to catch the disease in future. He informed that 7.1 million people ageing 20 years or more suffer from diabetes in Pakistan making it the seventh highest population of diabetic patients in the world.

He said if a person is advised by a trusted health professional that fasting is not good to his or her health, he should be considered exempted from the fasting. He said in our country people eat a lot of oily and sugary foods in Ramazan which is not a healthy trend. He said use of fried items like Pakoras and Samosas, sugary soft drinks and other sweet items increasein the holy month of Ramazan which can cause high-blood pressure and diabetes.

He advised the people abstain from eating oily and deep fried food at Iftar to remain healthy. He said generally the diabetes prone people are counted in two categories: high risk and moderate risk. He said the patients at high risk are those who already suffer from acute illness, who perform intense physical labour, pregnant women, patients suffering from renal diseases on those on dialysis and patients of uncontrolled epilepsy.

He urged these high-risk patients not to observe fasting as it can lead to worsening diabetes control. He said if a patient see his or her sugar level decreased from 60 and then he must break his fasting and pay the Kafra.

He advised to adopt natural lifestyle, avoid eating fast food, abstain eating very spicy food and soft drink, and adopt daily walk and daily exercise to save them from many diseases.

He demanded the government to establish diabetic wards at every district level hospital in order to enhance proper healthcare facility to diabetes people at their doorstep.