Ministry of national health services signs Letter of Understanding on diabetes prevention

Islamabad, February 17, 2016 (PPI-OT): The Ministry of National Health Services, Government of Pakistan has signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU) with Danish pharma company Novo Nordisk Pakistan to improve awareness and education on diabetes. The long-term mutual strategic cooperation aims to improve the current and future diagnosis, treatment and care of people with diabetes in Pakistan, and ultimately preventing the debilitating complications of this disease.

The LoU was signed at a special signing ceremony held at the Ministry of National Health Services and was attended by Saira Afzal Tarar, Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Mr. Rana Azfar Zafar, GM Novo Nordisk Pakistan, Ms. Helle Nielsen, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Denmark and other senior government officials.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that Diabetes is a major non-communicable disease across the world and specifically in Pakistan. Currently Pakistan has 7 million people with diabetes that makes it 8th largest diabetic population in the world. There was an urgent need to create awareness amongst the population to prevent the disease, said the Minister.

She informed that a dedicated Non-Communicable Disease Cell was working in the Ministry of National Health Services focusing on Diabetes among other disease. Under the LoU, a National Action Plan for Diabetes Prevention and Control will be developed with focus on Diabetes awareness/

She said in order to deliver on the objective of the cooperation; two focus areas for cooperation will be focused: Improvement of access of patients to diabetes treatment, Education of healthcare professionals and patients. She said a taskforce on Diabetes will be formed which will consist of members from both Ministry, the Danish Pharma Company alongwith key stakeholders from across the country to take these steps forward.

On the occasion, Mr. Zafar acknowledged the Ministry of National Health Services efforts to increase focus on non-communicable diseases, especially on changing diabetes. Through this strategic cooperation, we will increase awareness regarding this silent killer. Unless, our society is not educated more on how to prevent and manage diabetes, including having access to treatment, 10 people will continue to die from diabetes every hour in Pakistan”, said Mr. Zafar.

Ms. Helle Nielsen said that the collaboration between the leading Danish firm and the Government of Pakistan is an excellent example of a public-private partnership with a common goal. The common goal is to strengthen the diabetes health care system in Pakistan through awareness and quality care”. Both partners will also work together to assist in improving access of patients to diabetes treatment, which includes planning to create and implement the National Diabetes Action Plan and right models to increase access of patients to nationwide treatment through mutual cooperation with relevant organizations.

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Haji Ahmed Malik
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