Dawaai Blog

Addressing the elephant in the room

Diabetes in Pakistan is increasing the economic and healthcare burden of the already poverty-stricken population of Pakistan. By 2025 the number of people affected by diabetes is expected to rise to well over 14.5 million. Deaths from diabetes alone are projected to increase by 51% over the next 10 years (starting from 2008). The first step to tackle this massive problem is to gauge the level of awareness amongst the people.

A 2008 survey was conducted by the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association to determine the baseline awareness of diabetes amongst 300 rural population of Islamabad. The results are depicted as follows:

Participants 300
female 36.30%
male 63.70%
Educational Status:
None 34.30%
Primary 28.30%
Secondary 29.70%
College 6.70%
Post Graduate 1%
Yes 43%
No 57%
Regular Checkups
Yes 22.70%
No 77.30%
Blood Sugar Checked
Daily 1%
Weekly 2.70%
Monthly 15.30%
Never 75%
Regular Diet
Regular Diet Regimen 14.70%
No Diet Regimen 85.30%
Regular Exercise
Yes 26.30%
No 73.30%
Awareness of Complications
Yes 21.70%
No 78.30%
Knowledge of Risk Factors
Yes 14.00%
No 86.00%
Family History
Yes 32.70%
No 67.30%

The data collected by this survey shows that a significant number of people among the rural population of Pakistan are unaware of the Diabetes. Those that are aware of this disease are only so because of it affects someone in their family and they only refer to it by “sugar” and have failed to hear the words “diabetes mellitus”.

To raise the awareness of diabetes, a formal, structured approach should be designed to deliver the necessary educational information to the less developed areas of Pakistan, through mass media and outreach health education programs.



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