By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Mar. 27: The disease of diabetes across Nepal is spreading rapidly and Nepalis must remain aware of all precautionary ways to ward off the disease in time, said Minister for Health and Population Birodh Khatiwada on Saturday.
Inaugurating the Indo-Nepal-UK Diabetes Meeting and the Annual Professional Conference of Diabetes Nepal, Minister Khatiwada said diabetes occupied around four per cent of the total mortality rate in Nepal, with around 500 million in the world suffering from the disease. The number could soon increase to 600 to 700 million, he added.
In an under-developed nation like Nepal, there may be several thousand people who have been suffering from diabetes but have not registered them owing to their lack of information, the Minister said, adding, "The government will soon introduce a new provision of free health checkups for people above 40 years of age. The government will bring its policy on non-communicable diseases by 2024."
At the inaugural function, Minister Khatiwada conferred the Lifetime Achievement Diabetes Award to senior physician Professor Dr Sanjiv Dhungel for his contribution to the field of diabetes control and management in Nepal. After receiving the award, Dr Dhungel said that Diabetes Nepal and Health Nepal Exchange had contributed a lot to making people aware of the disease and helping Nepali health professionals in managing diabetes in patients by informing them about the new developments made in diabetes treatment across the world.
Dr. Satyan Rajbhandari, general secretary of Health Exchange Nepal, a UK-based organisation, said his association had extended support to Diabetes Nepal to organise various diabetes awareness and management programmes for health professionals and patients. Health Exchange Nepal has received permission from the UK's Royal College and Nepal Medical Associations to make the current programmes a standard one, Rajbhandari said.
Welcoming guests to today's programme, Diabetes Nepal General Secretary Kailash Pradhan said that his association is a non-profit public health organisation established to prevent and control diabetes through public awareness programmes. Diabetes Nepal believes in diabetes self-management education to the general public and diabetes patients and gives priority to update the health professionals with the new technologies to support in managing and controlling this health problem and its complications, Pradhan said, adding, "Diabetes Nepal has been continuously conducting annual Indo-Nepal-UK Professional Conference since more than a decade ago."
Diabetes Nepal has brought leading experts in the diabetes field and health professionals to discuss current issues, the latest developments and practical management of diabetes and its complications, Pradhan said.
Diabetes Nepal president Roshan Krishna Nyachhyon said that his association could hold the current programme owing to the contribution of many health professionals from Nepal and abroad. Stating that Diabetes Nepal will organise many such programmes, he thanked USV-Nepal and Nepal Health Exchange for assisting Diabetes Nepal in organising the programme. USV Nepal country manager Himanshu Shekhar expressed happiness to have an opportunity to be part of the meeting of health professionals.