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Diabetes growingly threatens Afghans’ health: MoPH

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: Afghan and international health bodies believe that the diabetes has had a dramatic rise in Afghanistan, threatening the people life more than any time in the past.

“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,” deputy public health minister Ahmad Jan Naeem said Sunday on the occasion of the International Health Day.

“We must step up the fight against diabetes and scale up prevention and treatment. Public health ministry is working on improving access to essential diagnostic services and diabetes medicines and increasing Afghans’ awareness about this disease.” he said.

It has remained largely unnoticed and untreated in Afghanistan with around 2.7 million people affected with, according to the World Health Organization in Afghanistan.

WHO Representative, Suprya said that the burden of diabetes is felt by individuals, families, communities and the health sector but much of this burden is avoidable. Many cases of diabetes can be prevented, and all can be detected and managed.

“WHO continues to support the Ministry of Public Health in halting the rise of diabetes through scaling up prevention and strengthening the health system’s capacity to diagnose and treat people with diabetes,” she said.

Early diagnosis of diabetes can be accomplished through blood testing which can be done at all health centres. Treatment of diabetes involves lowering blood glucose.

Around nine per cent of adults are affected to diabetes and an estimated 1.5 million deaths are caused by the disease every year globally.

Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood sugar which leads over time to serious damage of the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves.

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