Diabetes: A priority for women


Al-Jazirah newspaper

TWO out of every five women have diabetes while they are still fertile and can deliver babies.

This shocking news was published by the Belgian Diabetes Registry on the occasion of the International Diabetes Day, which the world observed on Nov. 14.

This revelation makes it imperative on us to move fast to give more attention to early detection of the condition and to take all the necessary measures to protect our women against it.

The care for diabetic women should not be limited to certain occasions or places. It should be provided throughout the year at all places women usually go to. We should not only focus on warning against the dangers of diabetes but should instead extend protection against its hazards, which are threatening women in the Kingdom and the entire Arab world more than women in other countries.

What we actually need at this point is confronting diabetes with early detection and immediate treatment.

The awareness campaigns against diabetes should not be limited to schools, universities and malls in certain weeks but should continue year round. We should not limit our focus on the International Diabetes Day or certain occasions.

We should open recognizable hospitals manned by specialists and furnished with all necessary equipment for examination and diagnosis.

We should also make plans to change our lifestyle to confront the disease at an early stage before it spreads among our women and children as a result of bad food habits and obesity.

Women and children gain weight excessively because they depend largely on fast foods and do not practice sports.

This is where educational and health institutions should play their role, in addition to raising awareness in society.

Awareness against diabetes should be so strong that taking precautions against diabetes becomes an obsession within families.

The international organizations this year chose the slogan of "women and diabetes" out of their strong belief that more than 199 million women around the world are threatened with the disease. Their lives will definitely be miserable due to the absence of early detection and comprehensive protection.

The Kingdom is expected to be one of the 10 most affected countries because diabetes is considered the 9th biggest cause of deaths among women in the Kingdom.

In the Kingdom, an average of 11 operations to amputate diabetic limbs are carried out every day. According to statistics, about 35 percent of our children are obese and are therefore vulnerable to developing diabetes.

We do not need to scare people with these horrible statistics. What we really need is quick steps and integrated plans to confront diabetes, particularly because the traditional awareness campaigns are futile and ineffective.

We should encourage women to practice sports regularly and eat healthy food. The confrontation of diabetes is not an impossible task if we consider it a public health hazard, and not just an occasion to observe once a year.