World Health Day 2016

April 06, 2016

Islamabad, April 6, 2016: On the occasion of World Health Day, Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Mrs. Saira Afzal Tarar stressed the need for increased awareness about the rising incidence of diabetes, its staggering burden and consequences in the country. The World Health Day this year is being observed with the theme “Beat Diabetes” which is a stark reminder to trigger a wave of effective actions to tackle the disease.

The Minister said Pakistan has 7 million people affected with diabetes that makes it the 8th largest diabetic population in the world. There is an urgent need to create understanding amongst the population to prevent the disease and promote its treatment. All segments of the society need to play their role; she said considering lifestyle changes are critical to preventing and managing the disease. Minister also urged people to observe simple lifestyle as it has proved to be effective in preventing or delaying diabetes. Maintaining normal body weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of diabetes, she added.

The statement highlighted that the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination has a dedicated Non-Communicable Disease Cell with focus on Diabetes prevention and control. The Ministry is also undertaking steps to develop a National Action Plan for Diabetes Prevention and Control with focus on Diabetes awareness. The Action Plan will focus on improvement of access of patients to diabetes treatment and education of healthcare professionals and patients. A taskforce on Diabetes will be formed which will consist of members from both Ministry alongwith key stakeholders from across the country to take these steps forward.

Diabetes is one of four priority Non Communicable Diseases - NCDs targeted by world leaders in the 2011 Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of NCDs and the SDGs 2016-2030. The Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2020 provides a roadmap and menu of policy options to attain nine voluntary global targets, including an additional target to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity by 2025.