Karnali fares best among States bedeviled with diabetes

By Ajita Rijal

sugarKathmandu, Aug. 6: A recent report has revealed that around 8.5 per cent of the Nepalis are living with diabetes. 

The first nationally represented study on the prevalence of chronic diseases in Nepal reported a high prevalence of non-communicable disease (NCDs).
The research was carried out by the Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) in the support from the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) on the selected NCDs in Nepal such as diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD), chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), and chronic kidney disease (CKD).
The study showed that among the four NCDs, besides diabetes, 11.4 per cent were found to have COPD; 6.0 per cent CKD and 2.9 per cent suffering from CAD.
The population-based nationwide cross-sectional survey was conducted on selected NCDs on a sample of 13,200 people from seven provinces for research from 2016 to 2018. The Karnali State has been found with the lowest burden of diabetes patients while State 3 has the highest burden. The research also showed that with the changing lifestyle and eating habits, the problem of diabetes is increasing in the urban areas.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), ‘diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterised by an elevated level of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which, over a period, leads to serious damages to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
Diabetes Specialist Dr. Jyoti Bhattarai said the current lifestyle of the people such as consumption of sugary, salty, oily and carbohydrate-rich food items has led to obesity which has increased the number of the people suffering from diabetes.
According to Dr. Bhattarai, individual efforts like intake of balanced diet with proper quality and quantity of food stuffs, regular exercise, maintaining weight and daily stress management could help maintain the blood glucose level and avoid many of diabetes complications.
The government should also have policy of not allowing junk food around the school areas, and encourage children to eat healthy food. The regular exercise and practice of organic farming should be enhanced throughout the nation, Dr Bhattarai said while giving tips for avoiding diabetic burden in the country.
The government should have a policy of comprehensive care for the diabetes at every health facility, said Dr. Bhattarai, adding easy access to diabetic care would help reduce the burden of diabetes.
The health related policies and programmes should provide more preferences to early detection and prevention of complications related to diabetes, added Bhattarai.
According to Dr. Bhattarai 50 per cent of the diabetic patients do not show any symptoms. Diabetes symptoms can appear relatively suddenly and may include increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue and weakness, blurred vision, and among others.
According to doctors, if one person in the family has diabetes, the whole family should be educated on this subject. The treatment of the diabetes patient also requires a lot of family support and assistance. Support and assistance has a big role during the treatment process.
The family has an important role in the food and treatment management of the diabetes patients and to build hope and encouragement during the process, said doctors.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, according to World Health Organisation (WHO). Around 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, particularly in low and middle-income countries, as per WHO data.

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