KARACHI  -  The Department of Biochemistry, University of Karachi in collaboration with the University of Karachi Alumni Association (UKAA) Baltimore, Washington, USA, organised a seminar entitled “Diabetes: Protect Yourself and Your Family” on Friday. 

Addressing the seminar, Professor Dr Shamim Qureshi of the Department of Biochemistry, University of Karachi said that it was alarming that Pakistan was ranked fourth all over the world and ranked second out of 21 countries in the Middle East and North African region by having the highest number of diabetic patients. Around 90 percent of these cases were reported to have type II diabetes, said a press release. She said over 415 million people in the world were suffering from diabetes and the number was expected to increase up to 642 million by the end of 2030. Approximately, 80 percent of diagnosed diabetic patients belong to low and middle-income countries, she said.

Professor Dr Shamim Qureshi also enlightened the audience about the importance of awareness about diabetes by sharing the symptoms of the disease and urged them to take proper precautions in this regard.

Another speaker, Dr Muhammad Zafar Abbasi from Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology, emphasised that treatments like insulin injection in case of type I diabetes or oral anti-diabetic medicines in case of type II diabetes were the only way to control blood sugar level. He shared that these treatments would produce better results when accompanied by a diet with no sugar and low salt and exercise.

Dr Muhammad Zafar Abbasi told the audience that the onset of type II diabetes could be delayed by avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, tobacco use, and fast food, full of high fat and triglycerides and this would control body weight as overweight or obesity increased the risk of type II diabetes.

Meanwhile, Dr Sadaf Ahmed, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Advanced Education Institute and Research Centre shared that the theme of WDD 2020 was nurses and diabetes.

She appreciated the services of male and female nurses in taking care of patients, including diabetic patients.

Dr Sadaf said that Pakistan still needed more nurses. To fulfill this deficiency, she emphasised that we should arrange programmes to change the mindset of the people by telling them that nurses were as important as doctors and taking care of patients was teamwork, not an individual task.

Later, a poster competition was also held to mark World Diabetes Day (WDD). The final year students of morning and evening programmes of the biochemistry department participated in the poster competition and made colourful posters regarding awareness of diabetes.

Dr Tooba Lateef of the Biochemistry, KU and Dr Musarrat Jahan from Sir Syed College of Medical Science for Girls, Clifton were the judges of the competition.

Students Mehreen, Saba, Tayaba, and Zeba won the competition and received cash prizes, while a special cash prize was received by Neelum, Misbah, and Namra.