Islamabad - The endocrinologists have warned that Pakistan may have fourth highest population of diabetic patients worldwide by 2025 if proper measures for awareness and treatment are not adopted.

At present, the country stands at the eighth position. This was disclosed at a workshop organised yesterday by Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians Taxila chapter at a local hotel.

The speakers said that sharp rise in diabetes cases is the real challenge for world and Pakistan is amongst the countries where ratio of disease prevalence is quite high. He said over 7 million people have been living with diabetes in the country and their number may reach 16 million by 2025. The speakers revealed that currently Pakistan has an estimated seven million people with diabetes and another seven million are on the verge of developing diabetes if no preventive measures are taken.

The speakers said that Pakistan with its limited resources, underdeveloped healthcare system and financial constraints is unable to provide the desired level of care to majority of people with diabetes. “Therefore the only cost-effective way is through educating the masses regarding primary prevention and all our efforts should be focused on preventing rather than only treating the disease,” they added.

Dr Saiful Haq, director Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology (BIDE), in his address said that foot disease is considered to be one of the most common complications of diabetes mellitus and diabetic foot refers to a wide spectrum of disease. About 20-40% of diabetics are reported to have neuropathy of which almost 50 percent are likely to develop symptomatic peripheral vascular disease within twenty years of diagnosis.

Speaking to the participants Dr Syed Asad Ali President Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians local chapter has said that Pakistan is one of the countries having a very high prevalence of diabetes. He said that according to the most recent statistics, Pakistan has currently more than 6.34 million people with diabetes. He was of the view that the number is feared to escalate rapidly in the coming years.