19.4 million people in Pakistan have diabetes
Pakistan has only one specialist for every 200,000 diabetes patients, according to the Pakistan Endocrine Society.
This was revealed at a seminar held at Aga Khan University to announce the launch of a six-month certificate course in diabetes. It seeks to expand access to the knowledge and skills needed to treat and manage people with diabetes.
Diabetes specialists, known as endocrinologists, are essential to prevent complications such as limb amputations. Around 60% of non-traumatic leg amputations in Pakistan are in people with diabetes.
The diabetes course is set to begin from January 2021.
It is part of a collaboration between the AKU and the British Medical Journal and Royal College of Physicians, London. It will help doctors across Pakistan improve their theoretical and practical knowledge of diabetes.
It is open to all registered healthcare professionals who hold an MBBS degree.
“To reduce the burden of complications of diabetes, physicians have to be well-equipped with the knowledge to confidently diagnose the disease,” said AKU Professor Najmul Islam, who is also the director of the diabetes course.
The course will offer the most updated and evidence-based knowledge to manage diabetes patients, he added.
The experts emphasised the need for short courses and said they can equip clinicians to manage the high burden of diabetes in the country.