Diabetes, a ticking time-bomb

Deputy Secretary for Diabetes Association of PNG Dr Joyce Sauk says according to research if diabetes is not controlled it will be two times bigger than the HIV epidemic.

For this reason Dr Sauk is calling on the Health Department and the National Government to think seriously about diabetes and the future.

Dr Sauk said in PNG where there is no proper diabetes data base or registry system to show the accurate magnitude of diabetes, the government needs to allocate more money for awareness and prevention.

“We don’t have a proper diabetes data base or registry system and that is one of our challenges. But from ad-hoc and all these check-ups and what’s coming in from the hospitals, it seems that we have a very grim future in terms of diabetes” said Dr Sauk.

More needs to be invested in hospitals and health centres to accelerate efforts to curb the disease she said.

The geographical setting of the country is another challenge they face to reach the rural population to advocate against diabetes she added.

Dr Sauk said on a global scale PNG is on the brink of been considered as one of the country’s with a high rate of the diabetes epidemic.

She said the International Diabetic Federation and World Health Organization project PNG as a seriously diabetic affected country’s in the Pacific Region.

“By 2030 it is estimated that PNG will have 300 000 diabetic cases in this country (PNG)” said Dr Sauk.

Dr Sauk added a cure for diabetes is yet to be found and until then Diabetes Association of PNG and the health sector has a lot of work to do to manage and control the disease.

Carolyn Ure