Bahrain on diabetes alert
Manama, November 8, 2008
An alarming 27 per cent of Bahrainis have developed type 2 or adult-onset diabetes, mainly caused by poor diet and overeating, according to a health ministry official.
"The high number of patients has turned diabetes into a major problem of national scale," health ministry assistant under-secretary for training and planning Dr Fawzi Amin said.
He was speaking at a workshop to help diabetic children at schools. He also warned that juvenile type 1 diabetes was also rising at an alarming 3pc annually.
More than 1,000 children, aged below 15, have so far been diagnosed with juvenile type 1 diabetes, he said.
Type 1 diabetes is the second most common chronic disease among children after asthma. It is usually first diagnosed in children, teenagers, or young adults, but can also occur at any age.
"Type 2 diabetes, first thought to be adult-onset, now tends to strike even children and teenagers," he said.
"Diabetes is a major cause for the sharp increase in school drop-outs and low productivity among employees. It also erodes government resources due to the high cost of treatment," he warned.
Type 2 diabetes can lead to blindness, limb amputation, kidney failure, cardiovascular diseases and strokes," he said.
Bahrain Diabetes Society deputy chairperson Dr Mariam Hermes cited obesity and wrong eating habits as the main causes of juvenile diabetes.
Seventy nurses attended the workshop, which was co-organised by Salmaniya Medical Complex. Teachers also attended the event, held at the College of Health Sciences.
Meanwhile, Bahrain will join other countries to mark World Diabetes Day next Friday, under the slogan 'United against juvenile diabetes'.
According to statistics released by the World Health Organisation, 250 million people are diabetic. The number is expected to jump to 380 million over the next 20 years.-TradeArabia News Service