2.7m Afghans suffering from diabetes, say WHO, MoPH
KABUL (Pajhwok):Around 8.4 percent of the population, or 2.7 million people, are suffering from diabetes in Afghanistan, where the disease is going unnoticed and untreated, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Sunday.
The ministry and WHO marked World Health Day at an event held in Kabul, highlighting a dramatic rise in diabetes cases and calling for efforts to step up prevention and treatment. The chronic disease leads to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.
“If diabetes is not controlled well, it can cause complications including heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, blindness, and foot ulcers that can lead to amputations. Many of these complications and premature deaths could be prevented,” said the deputy minister of public health.
In a joint statement from WHO and MoPH, Dr. Ahmad Jan Naeem said: “We must step up the fight against diabetes and scale up prevention and treatment. The ministry is working on improving access to essential diagnostic services and medicines...”
Suprya, WHO representative,said: “The burden of diabetes is felt by individuals, families, communities and the health sector but much of this is avoidable. Many cases can be prevented, and all can be detected and managed. Exercising regularly, eating healthily and avoiding smoking are key components in the fight against diabetes.”
There are 2 types of diabetes – type 1 is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin by itself. The most common is type 2 diabetes, usually in adults, which occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or does not make enough insulin.
Type 2 diabetes is largely the result of excess body weight, physical inactivity and unhealthy dietary practices. Up to 70% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by healthy lifestyles.
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