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Diabetes claimed 3,567 lives in six months: MoPH

Health ministry lacks budget to fight diabetes successfully

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: As the number of people with diabetes is rising at an alarming rate, Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said that diabetes claimed lives of 3,567 people in the past six months but it lacks budget to control it.

Commemorating the World Diabetes Day on Sunday, the minister advisor for MoPH, Khwaja Qamaruddin Sediqi, said that there is no updated figure about diabetes patients in Afghanistan, but according to a report of 2012, around 849,000 people had diabetes.

He said that considering worldwide rise in number of diabetes patients, the number of diabetes patients might increase in Afghanistan as well.

He said that MoPH drafted a comprehensive strategy for treatment and control of diabetes in the country, but the ministry lacks sufficient budget to implement the strategy.

Sediqi said that currently three diabetes care clinics are active in Kabul and one in Herat province, adding that although there is no clinic for diabetes care in other provinces, but each health center and every doctor has the capacity to diagnose the diabetes and bring it under control.

Head of the infectious diseases control program Dr. Fahim Paigham said that the ministry requires $9 million to execute the drafted strategy for diabetes treatment and control.

He said that following the strategy, MoPH plans to increase diabetes care centers in the country.

If diabetes was not controlled it can lead to premature ill-health, disability and early death. Diabetes occurs when the level of glucose in the body rise and the body either stops producing insulin or produces insufficient amounts.

Diabetes is a treatable condition. An active lifestyle pattern is also mandatory to control and manage ideal blood sugar levels.

According to Noble Prize organization, There are two types of diabetes. They were once called juvenile-onset diabetes and adult diabetes. However, today we know that all ages can get both types so they are simply called type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Type 1, which occurs in approximately 10 percent of all cases, is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system, by mistake, attacks its own insulin-producing cells so that insufficient amounts of insulin are produced – or no insulin at all. Type 1 affects predominantly young people and usually makes its debut before the age of 30, and most frequently between the ages of 10 and 14.

Type 2, which makes up the remaining 90 percent of diabetes cases, commonly affects patients during the second half of their lives. The cells of the body no longer react to insulin as they should. This is called insulin resistance.

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