KARACHI: People with poor diabetes control are more susceptible to various types of infectious diseases, including Covid-19, as well as deadly infections such as mucormycosis or “black fungus” as a person’s health affects a person’s ability to fight bacteria, viruses and diseases. experts warned on pandemic control, care and treatment measures in Pakistan on Monday.
They said there are millions of people in Pakistan who are undiagnosed diabetics who are unaware of their health and that they could get infectious diseases more easily than healthier people. They advised people at risk of developing diabetes to be checked for diabetes once or twice a year.
“People with diabetes, mainly people with uncontrolled diabetes, can become directly or indirectly infected with the infections,” commented Dr. Faisal Mehmood, a respected infectious disease expert, discusses the risk of infection in diabetics. “Because of peripheral neuropathy or damage to nerves, people don’t feel pain or sensation when their fingers are injured in their feet, and these wounds become infected, which can lead to amputations.”
“Millions of people in Pakistan are diabetic but they are undiagnosed.”
Similarly, the risk of serious illness due to Covid-19 is higher in people with diabetes than in non-diabetics. Even people with diabetes who have pneumonia could get more seriously ill than those who are not diabetic, he said, but added that the risk in diabetics of some infectious diseases, including malaria and dengue fever, is seriously ill too not yet known.
He claimed that most of the people who had mucormycosis were diabetic. When they were given steroids for treatment, their immunity weakened further and they contracted the deadly fungal infection that led to their death.
Another health expert, Prof. Dr. Akhtar Ali Baloch of Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) also confirmed that people with diabetes are more likely to get different types of infections, including Covid-19, compared to healthy people with lower immunity, adding that diabetics use their sugar with it All interventions suggested by doctors and experts should be checked.
“Diabetics are not only more prone to infections, but also have a higher risk of complications, as in the case of Covid-19, since diabetics become more ill after being infected with the coronavirus compared to non-diabetics and healthy people,” he said Prof Baloch, director of the National Institute for Diabetes and Endocrinology at DUHS. “Likewise, there are millions of people in Pakistan who are diabetic but undiagnosed. If they become repeatedly infected, have their sugar checked and find out that they are diabetic. “
He said a conservative estimate suggested that around 10 million people in Pakistan were undiagnosed diabetics. In such conditions, people with a family history of diabetes and those over 40 years of age with obesity were advised to undergo screening for diabetes.
Discover Diabetes Project
A public health expert, Dr. Babar Saeed Khan, advised people to use “Discovering Diabetes”, a project that aims to find undiagnosed diabetes patients in Pakistan.
“This is a kind of charity project that was started by the Pakistan Endocrine Society,” he said. “The only purpose of this project is to keep Pakistanis healthy and diabetic free. It is free and, in fact, the result of the sincere and honest efforts of the country’s health professionals. All you have to do is call the Discovering Diabetes toll-free number (0800-66766) and get free advice on your health. “
He said the project was started to find millions of missing diabetics and a hotline had been set up to help people determine their diabetes status and seek advice from leading diabetologists in the country.
He also urged federal and provincial authorities to give equal weight to non-communicable diseases like diabetes and asked them for help with their project to reach around four million undiagnosed diabetics in Pakistan.
Posted in Dawn on May 25, 2021