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PSIM starts online Int.
certificate course in Diabetes

KARACHI: A 6-Month Online International Certificate Course on Diabetes organized by National Diabetes Chapter of Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine was formally inaugurated recently. Prof. M. Zaman Shaikh, Course Director & Chairman National Diabetes Chapter, PSIM highlighting its salient features said that it has 24 modules covering almost every aspect of diabetes. More than 400 family physicians are registered. Certificates with credit hours will be awarded by the University of Health Sciences, Lahore. He said that besides eminent Diabetes Specialists from all over Pakistan, speakers from UK, Germany, Egypt, Jordan, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco & Turkey have confirmed their participation.

Prof. Andrew Boulton, President of International Diabetes Federation, in his state-of-the-art lecture in the inauguration ceremony mentioned that Diabetes is a rising global public health tsunami. More than 45 million people are with diabetes in Pakistan. It is like a cancer of 21st century. Cancer & heart diseases are considered very serious but, diabetes is not considered serious because it is symptom-free in the initial couple of years. Its sinister complications are also silent in nature like kidney failure, blindness, foot problems, stroke and heart failure. In all COVID-19 related deaths, 33% occurred in those with diabetes. COVID-19 pandemic has led the neglect of many other common but serious conditions like High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Heart Diseases, Routine Surgeries and Dialysis in kidney failure patients. COVID-19 also resulted in suspension of routine laboratory investigations resulting in many other complications. However, positive points of COVID-19 are expansion of telemedicine and digital educational programs.

In other state-of-the-art lecture, Prof. Javed Akram, President, PSIM said that diabetes is a result of gene-environment interaction. Wherever, Pakistanis are migrated, they take their genes along with them. 90% of type 2 Diabetes patients in Pakistan are either overweight or obese. He said that low birth weight babies later on develop metabolic syndrome and Diabetes. He said that in diabetes, not only pancreas, but liver, muscles, body fat, heart, brain, all vital organs are involved. Gestational diabetes (Diabetes during pregnancy) is not a benign condition and it predisposes to full blown diabetes with all its complications. In Pakistan, one study showed that children who develop diabetes around age of 10 years are either type 2 diabetics because of obesity, fast food intake, lack of physical exercise or have MODY (a special type of diabetes due to genetic defects) rather than type I diabetes.

Prof. Akhtar Hussain, President of Diabetes in Asia Study Group (DASG) and President-Elect of International Diabetes Federation from Norway stressed the need of mutual research in Asian countries and offered his services from the platform of IDF to cooperate and make it possible. Prof. Jamal BELKHADIR, Chairperson of IDF-MENA region from Morocco also spoke on this occasion. He highlighted the specific problems faced by MENA region, like very high prevalence of diabetes, lack of education and resources, special and urgent need to help displaced and immigrants in various countries of MENA region.

Dr. Somia Iqtadar and Dr. Shehla Naseem were the coordinators of this inaugural session. (PR)

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