ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday urged the need to prevent and better manage diabetes, which was a silent killer, by focusing on promoting a healthy lifestyle.
The healthy lifestyle may include regular exercise, diet spread, weight control, avoiding overeating and early diagnoses and proper management of this disease to reduce the disease burden which was third largest in the world after China and India, he added.
The President made these remarks while addressing a ceremony held here to commemorate World Diabetes Day.
The ceremony was attended by Ambassador of Demark to Pakistan, Jakob Linulf, Vice Chancellor of Health Services Academy, Dr Shahzad Ali Khan, health professionals and others.
Addressing the ceremony, the President expressed his concern over the high prevalence of diabetes in the country.
He noted that Pakistan was the third largest country in terms of diabetes prevalence, over 33 million were diabetic and 400,000 people died every year due to diabetes and other complications of this silent-killer disease.
The President also called for launching effective, meaningful and persistent awareness campaigns through conventional and social media coupled with organizing symposiums, workshops and conferences and public meetings and by making IT interventions which may include WhatsApp chatbots, web-based and cell phone-based applications, and call and text messages.
He said that the progress and prosperity of the nation hinged upon the quality of its human resources which was only possible when the nation was educated and healthy.
The President said that prevention and optimal management of diabetes could lower the risk of other diseases as well, and in the worst-case scenario diabetes could cause blindness, amputations of affected parts, kidney failure, heart attack, depression and in some cases suicide.
He said the government should think of introducing creative and meaningful incentives for pursuing a healthy lifestyle and reducing non-healthy habits such as smoking, artificial drinks, junk and highly processed foods and beverages, and having high sugar and salt content.
“People should adopt a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet for the effective management of their blood sugar and for overall better health to save our tomorrow”, he added.
The President said that being a nation with limited financial and economic resources, we could not afford the curative treatment which was very expensive and secondly, we did not have enough health facilities and trained human resources to provide curative treatments to all the patients.