World Diabetes Day 2023: Experts discuss concerns, actions to combat health crisis

Srinagar: On the occasion of World Diabetes Day 2023, the Health Centre at the University of Kashmir, in collaboration with the Gauri Kaul Foundation, hosted a significant event that shed light on the alarming rise of diabetes in the region.

Under the theme “Know your risk, Know your Response,” experts and dignitaries convened to discuss the pressing concerns and necessary actions to combat this health crisis.

Chief Guest, Prof. Farooq A Masoodi, commended the Health Centre for organizing a profoundly impactful event directly impacting society. Stressing the importance of youth awareness, he highlighted the pivotal role of grassroots education in instilling lasting awareness and behavioral changes crucial in diabetes management and prevention.

Furthermore, Prof. Masoodi’s stress on collaborative efforts across all sectors underlines the need for a coordinated response involving healthcare professionals, policymakers, educators, community leaders, and the public at large. It’s crucial to forge partnerships that transcend boundaries, pooling resources, expertise, and knowledge to create a unified front against diabetes.

Guest of honor, Dr. Upendra Kaul, founder director of the Gauri Kaul Foundation, reiterated the gravity of diabetes, highlighting its direct correlation with increased cardiovascular risks.

Dr. Kaul shed light on the unique health challenges faced by the people of Kashmir, including low blood platelet counts, intensifying their vulnerability to diabetes-related complications. Stressing the need for vigilant blood pressure monitoring among diabetic patients, Dr. Kaul outlined comprehensive lifestyle measures and medical interventions crucial for preventing vascular events.

Dr. Bashir Ahmad Laway, a senior endocrinologist from SKIMS, initiated discussions by underscoring India’s significant role in identifying diabetes. Delving into the historical context of this health condition, Dr. Laway illuminated the worrying trend of increasing diabetes prevalence specifically within Kashmir.

Emphasizing the gravity of the situation, he advocated for effective health policies, stressing the need for heightened screening, promotion of healthy dietary habits, and the facilitation of free access to essential medications. Dr. Laway urged the prudent allocation of financial and human resources, stressing the criticality of implementing robust policies to reverse the concerning trend.

Dr. M. Hayat Bhat, another senior endocrinologist, highlighted the role of pesticide pollution in diabetes and identified key factors contributing to type 2 diabetes among Indians.

He elucidated the array of challenges in diabetic care in India, emphasizing the lack of awareness, diagnostic barriers, limited access to treatment, cost constraints, and inadequate adherence to guidelines.

Senior geriatric consultant Dr. Zubair Saleem expanded on the multifaceted challenges posed by diabetes. Addressing issues like insulin resistance, pancreatic function, changes in body composition, metabolic rate alterations, cardiovascular and kidney complications, neuropathy, and vision changes, Dr. Saleem shed light on the complexities of managing diabetes, particularly in aging individuals.

Dr. Suraya Jan, a medical officer at the Health Centre, University of Kashmir, concluded the event with a formal vote of thanks, acknowledging the participation and contributions of attendees, including students and faculty members. She thanked Registrar Dr Nisar Ahmad Mir for his support. Dr. Khalid Nazir Tarzan Coordinator at Health Centre University of Kashmir coordinated the event.

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