Around 0.2m lose legs due to diabetes

Medical experts say 80% amputations can be prevented with proper care, medication

Asma Ghani August 20, 2017
A patient takes a blood glucose test. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: As many as 150,000 to 200,000 people lose their lower limbs every year in Pakistan due to complications of diabetes and 70 per cent of them die within five years of amputations, national and international endocrinologists disclosed at an international conference on diabetic foot management on Saturday.

“Majority of diabetics who lose their lower limbs are dead within five years of amputations, and the mortality among diabetics following amputations is higher than women with breast cancer,” leading international consultant and endocrinologist Prof Abdul Aziz Nather from Singapore told the three-day Nadep Foot Con 2017, which is under way at a local hotel in Rawalpindi.

Over 35m Pakistanis above age 20 suffer from diabetes

National and international experts from different countries of the world including Europe, Africa, Far East Asia and various countries are attending the foot conference and conducting workshops on management of diabetes in Pakistan, prevention of amputations due to diabetes and educating masses to prevent amputations in the country.

Number of diabetics have alarmingly increased in Pakistan during last two decades and according to a new survey by the Baqai Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology (BIDE) in collaboration with federal health ministry, between 35 to 38 million Pakistanis are diabetics, which means that every fourth Pakistani above the age of 20 is a diabetic.

Prof Nather from Singapore warned that diabetes and amputations caused by diabetes is a mortal disease but claimed that in the modern world, amputations had been prevented and now only one to two per cent people in the modern world lose their limbs due to integrated care, 90 per cent of the amputations can be prevented.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2017.

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