WFD/BIDE launch programme for prevention and control of gestational diabetes

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WFD/BIDE launch programme for
prevention and control of gestational diabetes

KARACHI: World Diabetes Foundation has launched a 3 years project in Pakistan “Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Prevention and Control Program” with the collaboration of Baqai Institute of Diabetology. This was stated by Prof Abdul Basit Director of Baqai Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology (BIDE) at Baqai Medical University while address a press conference recently. He further pointed out that that World Diabetes Foundation is helping the developing countries to encounter the rapidly rising epidemic of diabetes and in Pakistan Baqai institute of Diabetology is its’ strategic partner.
Pakistan, currently has over 6.6 million people with diabetes, the number rising to 11.4 million by 2030. Another 7.1 million Pakistanis are pre-diabetic state who may develop diabetes. Occurrence of high blood pressure has doubled while that of obesity has tripled. Even younger population, (18 years or less) is getting afflicted with Type 2 Diabetes. Nearly 9.6 million children are overweight and obese. There is increased risk of rise in the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes, causing huge economic burden. Health needs to be a priority of our policy makers and there ought to be national policies for the prevention of diabetes
Women of South Asian origin are more likely to have Gestational Diabetes and it’s adverse consequences. Over 10% of pregnancies in our population are complicated by Gestational Diabetes which creates risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease in the mother, later in the life and increased risk of developing obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes in the offspring during child hood and adolescence. Gestational Diabetes should be considered as an early warning sign of Type 2 Diabetes occurrence (40% - 60% risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in 5 to 15 years) and efforts should be made to prevent it through lifestyle modification strategies such as improving physical activity, reducing weight and improving diet of Pakistani women of reproductive age This project is a major step in that direction.
Dr. Shabeen Naz Masood said that women with uncontrolled blood sugar levels during pregnancy may have immediate adverse consequences such as deranged lipid levels, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. They are more prone to obstetric complications, such as abortions, preterm deliveries and Shoulder Dystocia and have greater probability of undergoing caesarian section. The offspring of women with GDM are at an increased risk of developing congenital malformations such as defects in the heart, central nervous system and musculoskeletal system, hypospadias, polydactyl and fetal growth restriction. Birth of a large and heavy baby may cause complication during labour. The newborn may suffer from respiratory distress, jaundice or low blood sugar. Fetal mortality is also high.
Dr. Musarrat Riaz said that our ethnic predisposition to diabetes necessitates universal screening of all pregnant women for Gestational Diabetes and the simplest test is the estimation of blood sugar 2 hours after giving a drink of 75 gm glucose, at the first visit of pregnant lady to a doctor. Patient education is key to the management and medical nutrition therapy and exercise are the first steps. If blood sugar is still not within normal limit insulin therapy is initiated. Insulin is the gold standard treatment. Blood sugar of the mother should be monitored at regular intervals after delivery.
Dr. Asmat Nawaz pointed out that main objectives of this project are to create awareness in the community, to train doctors and health care professionals and to establish Gestational Diabetes screening as a regular procedure.Three major Gestational Diabetes centres and 30 minor Gestational Diabetes clinics would be established and over 13000 pregnant women would b e screened.
All the services offered by the project would be absolutely free of cost, he added. (PR)

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