Unless combined efforts are made by families to maintain healthy lifestyle, diabetes can never be brought under control, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.
As a strategy to fight this widespread non-communicable disease, there is no alternative to preventive measures like ensuring healthy diet and physical activity, they also said in the event at Birdem auditorium in Dhaka.
Diabetic Association of Bangladesh organised the event marking World Diabetes Day 2019.
Since 2007, all United Nations member states are observing the day with the slogan “Let’s keep our family diabetes free”.
According to physicians, the most common long-term diabetes-related health problems are: damage to the eye, kidney, heart, feet and nerves.
However, around 93 percent of diabetes cases are type-2, and 73 percent of type-2 diabetes cases are preventable through maintaining healthy diet and disciplined lifestyle, according to International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
For this reason, speakers at the discussion stressed on creating awareness to ensure a positive family environment.
Prof Md Faruk Pathan, chief of the department of endocrinology and diabetology at Birdem General Hospital presented a keynote paper at the discussion.
“Genetic reason aside, undisciplined and unhealthy lifestyle is the main reason behind the spectre of diabetes across the country,” said Prof Faruk.
According to IDF, over 450 million people worldwide have diabetes while the number is over 7.3 million (73 lakh) in Bangladesh.
If the disease is not checked, the number of diabetic patients would stand at 1.4 crore by 2040, according to the federation.
“If every member of a family maintains healthy diet and disciplined lifestyle, a diabetic patient would not feel aliened. This would also keep others away from being affected by diabetes,” Prof Faruk also said.
He stressed for diabetes literacy through an all-out campaign to integrate schools, colleges, local government institutions, mosques and temples across the country.
Speaking as chief guest, Md Tazul Islam, minister for local government, rural development and co-operatives said,
“It is impossible for the government alone [to tackle the situation]. In a democratic society, engagement of the masses and civil society is important.”
“Awareness is paramount. All schools should be brought under an awareness campaign,” he added.
Prof Zafar Ahmed Latif, director general of Birdem said, “The spectre of diabetes is an increasing burden and it is impossible to bear. So we have to concentrate on prevention.”
Presided over by Prof A K Azad Khan, president of the association, Md Sayef Uddin, secretary general of the association also spoke at the discussion among others.