Punjab govt, Danish company to collaborate for diabetes prevention


In order to create awareness and to prepare a strategy to fight diabetes in Punjab, Punjab government and Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk on Wednesday signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to hold ‘Punjab Diabetes Forum’, in Lahore.

The MoU was signed by Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Secretary Najam Ahmed Shah and Danish Pharmaceutical Company Country Head Novo Nordisk. Ambassador of Denmark to Pakistan Ole Thonke also attended the ceremony.

The MoU is being considered an important milestone in joint collaboration and efforts of government of Punjab and the government of Denmark for the prevention and control of diabetes in Pakistan, as Punjab shares half of the country’s population and a huge number of health managers dealing with diabetes.

While addressing the ceremony, Najam Ahmed Shah said, “Only knowing about diabetes is not enough; prevention by changing one’s lifestyle and diabetes management with a strong willpower are critical. We are the seventh largest country in terms of diabetes; it is time to take this problem head on.”

According to the recent statistics released by International Diabetes Federation (IDF), around 400 million people suffer from diabetes around the world, and by 2035 this will rise almost 600 million, unless serious actions and procedures are taken. Diabetes is a growing non-communicable disease in Pakistan. It is roughly estimated that about 7 million people in Pakistan suffer from diabetes, and half of them may not even know it. It is predicted that by 2035, the number of people with diabetes will nearly double to 12.8 million.

Punjab Diabetes Forum will be held on 6th of December, 2016 in Lahore under the patronage of Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif. The forum will be focusing on advocacy campaigns for diabetes awareness, prevention and control, through focused group workshops and a scientific symposium.

Addressing the participants of the signing ceremony, Denmark’s ambassador to Pakistan Ole Thonke said, “It’s very encouraging to see the positive progress of Pakistan towards greater awareness, prevention and control of diabetes. With a strong national policy and a close collaboration with a world-leading pharmaceutical industry, Denmark has been able to deliver effective solution to prevent and treat diabetes. We are committed to improving better quality in healthcare’ not only at home, but also globally through these types of initiatives. This collaboration with the government of Punjab is an example of our efforts”.