Health camp shows diabetes on rise in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Hundreds of people visited the Free Blood Sugar Check-up Camp organized by the Kashmir Observer Foundation (KOF) here on Thursday in connection with the “World Diabetes Day.” 

KOF organized the day long camp in association with ‘Diabetix Franco-India Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd’ at Kak Sarai opposite SMHS OPD, with a call to fight the disease and also spread the awareness among the masses about the dangers of the dreaded disease.

On this occasion, eminent physician Dr Nazir Mushtaq (MD) along with the Franco-India Pharmaceuticals representative Rameez Nazir, examined blood samples drawn from hundreds of people, both young and old visiting the camp, and held an on-the-spot investigation to check their blood-sugar level. 

Incidentally, the proportion of diabetic people was found to be significantly high at the camp.

Out of 100 people diagnosed on Friday, 11 were found to be diabetic. 

Dr. Nazir said, the diabetics were given the necessary advice as follow-up for their treatment. “Almost none of them knew of the condition they have landed in”, the doctor said.

Apart from blood sugar levels, the people visiting the camp were examined for uric acid levels also. “We were surprised to notice a higher level of uric acid in the patients,” Dr Nazir said attributing the rise to the stress and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the recent devastating floods that submerged almost 75% of Kashmir in September. 

The percentage of patients suffering from the condition gout, according to the senior physician, was 20%.

Dr. Nazir said Diabetes is the mother of all diseases and it usually takes a worst turn by the time a person gets to know about it. “Checking the blood-sugar level is done within a matter of minutes and the modern-day technology has made it all the more easy to self-check the levels in the blood,” he said. “It amounts to medical-illiteracy if a person doesn’t know what sugar level he is carrying in his blood.”

He advised people visiting the camp to go for a blood-sugar check up after every six months and urged the media to get involved in awareness camps with regard to the ill-effects of the disease. “I must say Kashmir Observer is doing a great job and others should follow suit in this noble mission,” he said.

He said, “When a person is affected by the diabetes, it affects his/her entire body often leading to heart and kidney diseases. In Kashmir, 8 per cent adults suffer from diabetes and 27 per cent are pre-diabetic.

Experts suggest that people should frequently check their weight and get sugar tested once in a while. Recently, noted endocrinologist Dr Shariq Masoodi from Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, conducted a study and revealed that Kashmir has more than two lakh diabetic patients and the disease is increasing every day.

World Diabetes Day was introduced by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization on Nov. 14, 1991 in response to the increased prevalence of diabetes worldwide and has been observed by more than 195 associations in 155 countries.

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