Diabetes complications kill 10,000 Sri Lankans annually

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne has revealed that 10,000 Sri Lankans died of diabetes complications annually and eight per cent of the population are treated for various stages of diabetes.

Dr. Senaratne addressing the ‘Endocrine Congress 2016,’ earlier this week observed that diabetes had previously affected only the elderly population. However, now it was prevalent even among the youth and children and fast turning into a serious health issue. It was proving to be challenge for the country’s health service providers having to treat the growing number of young people affected by the disease, the minister said.

Giving more statistics, Health Ministry Spokesman Nipun Ekanayake said 25 per cent Sri Lankan’s were over weight,while seven per cent were obese. The situation had led to lifestyle related diseases (LSRD) better known as non communicable diseases (NCDs), he said.

The Spokesman said the Health Ministry had established 842 Well-life Centres affiliated to government hospitals and 946 Well-woman Clinics affiliated to MOH areas to encourage the public to test for early detection of NCDs and reduce the possibilities of being affected by NCDs.

Ekanayake said while educating communities on maintaining healthy lifestyles, there should also be a collaboration among the preventive, curative and rehabilitative health care services to maintain the quality of services provided towards stemming the increasing number of NCDs. A ‘traffic light system’ for food items had been initiated by the Health Ministry to indicate the sugar content in the food purchased in the market – especially soft drinks. He said steps were being taken to devise a method to indicate the salt content in food items available in the market.

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