The International Diabetes Federation has ranked Pakistan as the third in the prevalence of diabetes following China and India. According to the IDF, around 33 million people in the country are living with diabetes.
Overall, more than 537 million people are suffering from diabetes across the globe. During the Covid-19 lockdown, we have seen an increase in the prevalence of type-II diabetes around the world as well as in Pakistan as the pandemic has restricted physical activities and obesity was seen on the raise during the pandemic duration.
These views were expressed by Professor Dr Shamim Qureshi of the Department of Biochemistry, University of Karachi, while addressing a seminar entitled “Access to Diabetes Care”.
The department of biochemistry in collaboration with the University of Karachi Alumni Association (UKAA) Baltimore, Washington, USA organized a poster competition and seminar in connection with World Diabetes Day.
She informed the audience that this is very alarming that the country has been witnessing so many people with diabetes and still not taking it seriously. Other speakers of the seminar were Dr Muhammad Zafar Iqbal Abbasi from Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology, Mariam Abdeali, Consultant Dietitian and Dr Tooba Lateef, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry.
Dr Abbasi highlighted the significance of standardization of health care establishments and their services in his talk. He said that the Second National Diabetic survey revealed the prevalence of diabetes is 26.19 percent among people over 20 years of age.
He mentioned that it means that every fourth person is diabetic in the country. He stated that health facilities are insufficient and diabetes supplies are not regular. He emphasized structured training of health care providers to cope with the huge burden of diabetes at one end and ensuring uninterrupted affordable diabetes supply at the other. He reiterated that an all-out approach with the right efforts is required on a priority basis.
Dr Abbasi was of the opinion that policymakers and authorities must give due recognition to the fact that more prevention and good control of diabetes will reduce the workload of other specialties–oriented facilities like cardiac hospitals, kidney hospitals, and neurological centers.
Consultant Dietitian Mariam Abde Ali gave a good account of the implications of a balanced diet on the health of diabetes patients. She said that a healthy diet ensures good health. The success of dietary management in diabetes care depends upon flexibility, portion control, and consistency.
She shared that better lifestyle choice on an all-time basis leads to desired results of medical nutrition therapy. She advised that body weight has to be controlled and maintained in order to keep the body mass index (BMI) below 25 kg/m2.
On this occasion, Dr Tooba Lateef conducted self-health assessment activity through a mobile app called NutriApp (T gamma developers) among participants. Through which participants curiously knew their ideal body weight, BMI, waist to hip ratio, recommended calories, and fluid intake.
She mentioned that these are the key factors in planning a healthy diet to be fit. Dr Shershah Syed, the renowned gynecologist and surgeon, and Dr Sadaf Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Education Institute and Research Center were the chief guests of the event. Both of them emphasized the importance of education for youth especially females. They stated that education is the key for getting awareness not only for any disease including diabetes but also it helps to handle any problem which youth face in their social life.
The final year students of the biochemistry department (Morning and Evening Program) actively participated in the poster competition and made colorful posters regarding awareness of diabetes and its complications, the judgment of this competition was done by Dr Hina Mudassir (Chairperson, Department of Biochemistry, Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology), Dr Musarrat Jahan (Assistant Professor, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Ziauddin Medical University) and Dr Arisha Salman (Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Dow International Medical College).
The competition was won by Ayesha Shahbaz and received the first prize of Rs3000/- cash while a special prize of Rs1500/- cash was received by Maryum Laiquat, Rida Qamar, Hafiza Fatima Zehra, Ayesha Mustaqim, and Bakhtawar.
During the event diabetes camp to assess free blood sugar and bone mass density BMD) was also arranged by Dr Essa Diagnostic Laboratory in the department of biochemistry