Diabetes alert for newborns in Bahrain
Manama, October 14, 2010
Figures released yesterday show the number of babies born with type one diabetes in Bahrain has more than doubled in the past 15 years.
Latest statistics show that 20 in 100,000 children are now born with the disease, up from eight per 100,000 in 1995, according to Health Ministry director of school health services and Bahrain Diabetes Society vice-president Dr Mariam Hermes Al Hajeri.
She blamed the westernisation of lifestyles for contributing to the problem, adding that GCC states faced a tough task in controlling diabetes in growing populations.
'Unhealthy habits have led to several diseases from diabetes, cardiovascular disease and renal failure,' she said.
'We should start by targeting obese or overweight children as they are among the high-risk groups.'
Dr Al Hajeri made her comments during a Press conference to announce a key diabetes conference next month.
Taking place under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, it will run on November 29 and 30 at the Gulf Hotel's Gulf Convention Centre and marks the 20th anniversary of the Bahrain Diabetes Society.
More than 500 delegates from around the world are expected to attend the event, which will address ways to tackle the problem in the region.
Among those at yesterday's Press conference was senior Salmaniya Medical Complex consultant diabetologist and endocrinologist Dr Fayza Al Jenaidi.
She reported 67 new cases of type one diabetes in children last year alone, saying that in 1989 there were just 30 children registered with diabetes.
Bahrain has been struggling with diabetes for years, with sedentary lifestyles and poor diets blamed for the alarming spread of the disease - which now affects 20 per cent of the population.
Our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) reported in May that one in every four adults in Bahrain had diabetes, while the number of children with type-two diabetes was increasing by three per cent a year.
BDS chairman and Defence Minister Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said that is why plans for a national diabetes centre were vital.
'This is a proposal that is in the pipeline - to set up a national centre for diabetes which would serve as a training centre for volunteers and help everyone who suffers from the disease,' he said.
A special diabetes hotline has been set up to help patients, who can call it on 36840404 any time to discuss their problems.
According to the World Health Organisation, diabetes causes around 5 per cent of all deaths globally each year.
It warns that diabetes deaths will increase by more than 50 per cent in the next 10 years without urgent action.-TradeArabia News Service