Experts stress prevention and early diagnosis at 8th National Symposium marking World Diabetes Day

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Routine mental health screenings and assessment tools can improve diabetes outcomes, evidence-based treatment, and quality of life, experts suggest.

On the occasion of World Diabetes Day 2021, the Diabetes Clinical Ward 7 Medical Unit at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre organized the Annual Diabetes Symposium to spread public awareness about diabetes and the ways to access diabetic care treatment at the Najmuddin Auditorium.

With a prevalence rate of 33 million, Pakistan stands third with a thriving ratio of diabetic patients. A renowned panel of experts including Endocrinologists, Diabetologists, Dermatologists, Nephrologists discussed the untapped aspects of diabetes care, essential for students, general physicians, postgraduates, and medical practitioners.

Acting Vice Chancellor JSMU and Executive Director JPMC Professor Shahid Rasul extended his appreciation to the esteemed guest speakers for their presence at the symposium and expressed concern over the worrisome figures of diabetes prevalence. ‘Prevention is the most effective strategy for Diabetes, we should counsel our patients regarding diabetes care.’ VC Prof. Shahid Rasul.

The keynote speech – in the context of Covid-19 – was delivered by Professor Syed Masroor Ahmed, Dean of Medicine JSMU on the correlation between diabetes and pandemic, ‘Excessive body fat and obesity increases the rate of mortality for patients infected with Covid-19’ explained Dr Masroor.

‘Increase in diabetes prevalence is a major health and economic burden, and policymakers should make it a top priority on their political agenda.’ Explained Professor of Medicine Dr Ejaz A Vohra from Ziauddin University while speaking to the audience members on the vision beyond Glycemic Control – Cardiovascular and Renal Outcomes in diabetes. Furthermore, Professor of Medicine Dr Qaiser Iqbal from Abbasi Shaheed hospital said that we should have our eyes on a controlled lifestyle, metabolism, and management key to diabetes control.

‘Depression, Diabetic Distress and the psycho-social aspects of diabetes often go unrecognized and unaddressed. The screening rate remains low, due to the lack of training of healthcare providers’ stressed Associate Professor Dr. Shabnam Naveed. She also highlighted that healthcare practices lack mental health assessment tools, and healthcare protocols must be defined for evaluating somatic and cognitive symptoms of depression in diabetic patients.

The second-panel discussion transpired on a discussion related to complications and comorbidities of Diabetes. Endocrinologist Dr Urooj Lal Rehman spoke about gestational diabetes and management, whereas, Diabetes and Dementia were discussed by Professor Khalid Sher, Head of the Neurology Department. Dermatologist Dr Shafiq Ur Rehman reflected on the impact of diabetes on bone health through a detailed presentation.

The symposium was followed by a Q & A session by a panel of experts including Professor Zaman Sheikh from Sir Syed Hospital, Professor Najm-ul-Islam from Aga Khan University Hospital, Professor Haleema, and Professor Khadija from Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology JPMC.

The session was moderated by Senior Registrar Ward 7 Dr Marium Fatima Waqar, while some prominent guests including Professor of Medicine Dr Mashoor Alam, Former Executive Director of JPMC and Former Head of the Department of Ward 7, Professor Mannan Junejo, Department of Nephrology, Dr Rakhshanda, Dr Javaid, Department of Psychiatry attended the event.





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