World Diabetes Day is celebrated on 14th November around the globe. The day was initiated in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), in response to the growing concerns about the continuously increasing health risks diabetes poses.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make use of the insulin the body’s produces.
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, that acts like a key to let glucose from the food we eat pass from the blood stream into the cells in the body to produce energy. Carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose in the blood. It helps glucose to get into the cells.
Type of Diabetes:
There are three main types of diabetes
- Type 1
- Type 2
Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, but it occurs most frequently in children and adolescents. People suffering from type-1 diabetes produce very little or no insulin, which means that they daily need insulin injections to maintain glucose level under control.
Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases. People having type 2 diabetes, their body stop making good use of the insulin that it produces. The cornerstone of type 2 diabetes treatment is healthy life, including increased physical activity and healthy diet. However, the people with type 2 diabetes will require oral drugs or insulin to keep their blood glucose levels under control.
This type of diabetes make high blood glucose during pregnancy and associated with complications to both mother and the child. Gestational diabetes disappear after the pregnancy but women affected and their children at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Diabetes in Pakistan
According to National Survey conducted in 206-17 on diabetes, twenty-six percent of Pakistani population is suffering from diabetes.
According to the survey, 35 million to 37.5 million people above 20 are suffering from this disease in the country.
“Diabetes is not a disease, it is a syndrome, which is beyond disease.” – Dr Minhaj
The survey was conducted by Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology (BIDE) in collaboration with Health Ministry, Pakistan Health Research Council and WHO-founded Diabetic Association of Pakistan.
Today, on 20th November, Roche Diagnostic initiated a campaign for the awareness of diabetes with the theme of “Diabetes and Family.” The main goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of the impact that diabetes has in the family and how family plays an important role in preventing it.
As youngsters play an important role in changing the society and home, that is why the main motive of the campaign is to give awareness to school going children and youngsters to take a step forward to end diabetes from Pakistan.
“Diabetes is like a marathon, it does not end, you don’t win, you keep on running,” said Stephanie, a diabetes patient.
Diabetic patients took a courageous step and came forward to share their stories, highlighting how diabetes has changed their lives and how it can be controlled.
Dr Urooj Imam, Medical and Scientific Affair person shared the problems she faced during conceiving a baby.
“I am a foodie and I am always working away from home, which means eating a lot from outside. My mother-in-law makes the best desserts that nobody can say NO to it. The problem began when I got trouble in getting pregnant. I went to the hospital, got my tests done and found that I am diabetic, which is causing problem for me and my husband to be parents.”
While continuing her story, Imam told that diabetes do not end, all we need to do is to have moderated food. Make exercise a habit and try to avoid junk food as much as you can.
Hamid, father of 3 daughters, shared his story and how diabetes changed his entire life.
“I am a diabetic patient for many years. Initially, I had no symptoms of diabetes but I started getting weak and lazy. On my visit to the doctor, I found that my sugar level almost 360 and I could not do anything about it. I am thankful to my family and specially my wife for supporting me in this difficult phase of my life. Now, we have cornered junk food from our lives and have a balanced diet.”
Dr Shah Faisal, dentist by profession took a dig into the matter and said that Pakistan’s diabetic population is increasing drastically. Diabetic patients tend to lose teeth early.
“Diabetes can only be stop when one will start changing his/her habits and way of living. The awareness regarding diabetes should start from school children.”
While concluding the event, Dr Minhaj, Chief Executive Officer at Sindh Healthcare Commission said that one should always opt early diagnosis.
“People are being more reactive than being proactive.”
To cure diabetes, people should always start from management and prevention instead of taking medicines.
Dr Minhaj suggested that there should be online applications for diabetes tests and diagnosis.
“Social media has taken over the world and we should take advantage of it as much as we can.” – Dr Minhaj
Dr Fatima from S.I.U.T joined hands with Roche and helped them to run “Diabetes and Family” campaign in different schools of Karachi. Many students made posters for the campaign, which were displayed at the Roche’s art gallery.