| GEO Pakistan|
| World marks Diabetes Day today|
| Updated at: 0720 PST, Friday, November 14, 2008|
ISLAMABAD: With the World Diabetes Day (WDD) being observed today (Friday), doctors said at least 15 percent population of the country suffers from diabetes – a disorder characterised by abnormally high glucose levels in blood.
They warned the numbers are escalating and possibly will double in the next three decades if corrective measures are not made.
According to International Diabetes Federation (IDF), children make up a major part of the diabetic population and most of them belong to developing world. The IDF said every year, 70,000 children below 15 are diagnosed with diabetes in developing countries.
Dr. Asma of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) told media on Thursday that this year, the WDD would focus on creating public awareness of health hazards of diabetes whose incidence among children and adolescents was alarmingly very high.
She said 15 in 100 Pakistanis was diabetic and the number was likely to double in the next 30 years if the authorities and people continued to ignore this serious threat to public health.
“Prevalence of diabetes in Pakistan is one of the highest in the world. Around eight million people suffer from diabetes in the country, which stands among top seven highest diabetes endemic countries of the world,” she said.
The doctor said diabetes was a problem of the rich and the poor, old and young, urbanites and villagers alike. “It’s no longer the disease of the rich alone,” she said.
Dr Asma said the diabetes was a serious threat to public health as it was the biggest cause of blindness, amputation of limbs, heart and kidney failures, paralyses and other fatal diseases.