The diabetes is spreading rapidly in Pakistan with 6.9 million patients and the number will rise to 11.5 million by 2025 with 80 percent increase if tangible steps are not taken to control the disease, disclosed speakers during a seminar.

The seminar titled “diabetes and fasting” was organised by Directorate of Medical Sciences, Government College University Faisalabad. The session was chaired by GCUF Vice Chancellor Dr Zakir Hussain while Dr Suriya Zakir was guest of honour on the occasion. Experts including Dr Riaz Hussain Dab, Dean Dr Naureen Aziz Qureshi, Dr Altafur Rehman, Prof Nighat Bhatti, Dr Asif Saleem and others also spoke on the occasion.

Dr Zakir said the disease affects 240 million people worldwide and the number is projected to rise to 380 million by 2025. He stressed the need to take steps on the part of medical experts, social workers and the educationists to educate the people on the issue. He said that awareness on a healthy lifestyle, dietary habits and exercise are urgently needed.

He said that according to medical sciences, Type 1 diabetes patients (common in youth), who are recommended to use insulin and not to observe fasting. He added that patients of Type 2 diabetes which is common in matured age people can fast with doctors’ consultations. Dr Suriya Zakir called for controlling the disease with proper diet plan and exercise. She said that in Ramazan, appropriate timing of exercise is before Sehr for 20 to 30 minutes or after Namaz-e-Taravi. She said that sweet potato can also be used as medicine.

Talking about the controlled level of sugar, she said that the controlled level stands at 80-130 mg % before Sehri, 80- 120 mg before Iftar and 140 to 160 mg two hour after Iftar. Dr Naureen Aziz Qureshi said that Pakistan is currently ranked 7th in the diabetics prevalence and may move to fourth number in the coming 10 years. She said diabetes in Pakistan is a major challenge for healthcare providers and it demands collaborative efforts by diabetic patients, students, educationists, healthcare professionals and policymakers.

Talking about dengue, she said GCUF has produced 2,000 volunteer students to raise awareness among the society against dengue and measles. Dr Riaz Hussain said that directorate of medical sciences, Microbiology Dept, Pharmacy Dept, Directorate of Home Economics and Food Nutrition and Sociology Department will launch a comprehensive campaign to aware the masses about the fatal diseases, precaution and healthy lifestyle.

Dr Nighat said that according to a survey in Pakistan, prevalence of newly diagnosed diabetes patients is 5 percent in men and 4.8 percent in women in rural areas and 5.1 percent in men and 6.8 percent in women in urban areas. About an equal number of people are at risk of having diabetes.