Estimated 100,000 children with type 1 diabetes go undiagnosed

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In Pakistan, an estimated 100,000 children with type 1 diabetes go undiagnosed due to a lack of awareness among parents and healthcare professionals, according to senior endocrinologists and health experts who spoke at a press conference held at the National Press Club on 6 Jan 2024.

The experts emphasized that children with type 1 diabetes require lifelong insulin treatment for a normal and healthy life. Recognizable symptoms include sudden weight loss, frequent urination, extreme hunger, and mood changes. Parents are urged to consult trained physicians promptly if such signs manifest and insist on checking their children’s sugar levels.

Professor Abdul Basit, Diabetologist and Project Lead for Changing Diabetes in Children (CDiC), highlighted the urgency of timely diagnosis, stating that many children with type 1 diabetes die within days of the onset of the disease when left undiagnosed. The CDiC project, launched two years ago, aims to provide free insulin to over 3,000 children across Pakistan, particularly those whose parents cannot afford the treatment.

Ambassador of Denmark to Pakistan Jakob Linulf expressed concern over the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of children in Pakistan due to a lack of awareness about type 1 diabetes. He emphasized the need to inform parents and train healthcare professionals for early diagnosis and proper insulin treatment.

CDiC Manager Irum Ghafoor shared that the project has established 16 centers across different regions in Pakistan, enrolling 1544 children by the end of 2023. These centers provide free insulin and blood glucose monitoring equipment to children living with diabetes.

Rashid Rafique Butt, General Manager of Novo Nordisk Pakistan, affirmed their commitment to combating chronic diseases like diabetes, acknowledging the importance of partnerships beyond medication to effectively address the challenges associated with diabetes.

Acknowledgement: The Original news was reported by Daily Dawn on 6 Jan 2024

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