PR No.107 Pakistan Health Research Council launched National Diabetes Survey of Pakistan 2016-17 Islamabad: 18th July 2018

Federal Minister for National Health Services Muhammad Yusuf Shaikh said that diabetes represents a major public threat worldwide. Today there are 425 million people living in the world with diabetes. The inexorable advance of diabetes all over the world seems unfortunately unstoppable. But we have a duty to do whatever we can and whatever it takes to stop its advance. While he was addressing dissemination seminar of National Diabetes Survey of Pakistan 2016-17 today in Islamabad. Minister said that the findings of the National Diabetes Survey are showing alarming burden of disease in our country. The number of people with diabetes has increased dramatically 3 times from 8.7% in 1994-98 survey to 26.3% in 2016-17 survey constituting about 27.4 million people. There is an increasing trend towards younger people developing diabetes as 30% youngsters of aged between 20-39 years have diabetes. This is very worrying trend resulting in the loss of a very productive individual. Similarly, the rise of diabetes in rural setting is another concern as this will reduce their working potential as required resulting in poor quality of life. Minister further said despite the grim picture painted by these figures, we have the knowledge and expertise today to create conditions which can considerably reduce the onset of diabetes for the next generation. This can be achieved by increasing awareness on the importance of a healthy diet and regular physical activity for everyone, male or female, young and elderly. But we must particularly target the children and the young people about the absolute benefits of physical exercise and sports for the quality of life. Minister said it is imperative for low and middle-income countries to prepare themselves by taking adequate and effective measures to address this looming pandemic. It is essential that health professionals – particularly the primary care practitioners – provide advice and counseling about lifestyle, diets in order to get everyone to be aware of the disease. It is very important to raise awareness about diabetes and its catastrophic consequences on health in general and quality of life in particular. The Minister requested to people of the country take responsibility for your own health. It is in your interest to be and remain healthy, and enjoy a quality of life by adopting a lifestyle which prevents diabetes and other diseases, For the healthcare professionals, it is your duty to improve awareness and knowledge about the impact diabetes can have on people and you must keep advising and counseling, For me and others working in government, it is my earnest hope to be able to implement effective strategies and policies for the prevention and management of diabetes to safeguard the health of our citizens living with or at risk of diabetes Minister said that we have valid data on the prevalence and the risk factors of the diabetes. I must congratulate Pakistan Health Research Council and the partners who participated in this survey. Now we have to develop the strategies for prevention of diabetes to reduce its incidence and effective measure for better management of the affected to avoid the burden of complications in future. I am confident that PHRC will be able to achieve this and will continue to work hard for providing statistics at national level. In the last, this pleasure to congratulate the Executive Director, PHRC and the Survey team as well as the organizer for making this event successful. Federal Secretary Ministry of National Health Services Captain ( R ) Zahid Saeed said that In Pakistan, majority of the population consumes unhealthy diet and concept of eating vegetables and fruits is not common. Due to urbanization and availability of easy transport in rural area, people are becoming more and more inactive. More than half of the population in the country is overweight and obese. Women were more overweight or obese than men. Besides these factors, illiteracy and lack of awareness about diabetes’s risk factors and preventive measure are also important reasons. Similarly, a substantial proportion remains undiagnosed; aggravating the situation. Secretary said taking a life course perspective is essential for preventing diabetes. Early in life, when eating and physical activity habits are formed and when the long-term regulation of energy balance may be programmed, there is a critical window for intervention to mitigate the risk of diabetes later in life. In this regard, breastfeeding and early childhood nutrition are important. The Govt. of Pakistan has launched the National Nutritional Program and is trying best to sensitize public about the importance of breast feeding and provide them quality food. Minister said nearly every family in Pakistan is confronted directly with the suffering associated with diabetes. Ensuring healthy eating habits in young children is key to ensuring the health of our future generations. Earlier Executive Director PHRC Muhammad Ali Shahzada in his welcome address dwelt at length on the importance of the survey and diabetes situation globally and in Pakistan. *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*