Survey: 3.8 million Saudis are suffering from diabetes
Obesity and diabetes threaten Gulf states’ economic health as well as human wellbeing, said Minister of Health Khaled Al-Falih
A recent survey showed that 3.8 million Saudis are suffering from diabetes.
A source from the Ministry of Health said that diabetes patients in Saudi Arabia range between 20 and 70 years of age.
“Some 60 percent of amputation surgeries in the Kingdom are performed because of diabetes. Around 345 amputation surgeries are performed every year in Jeddah, on an average one surgery a day. Around 814 amputation surgeries are done every year in Riyadh as the population of the capital city is more than that of Jeddah,” said the source.
A total of 4,000 amputation surgeries are performed annually in Saudi Arabia, he said.
“Diabetes is also the cause of death of 22,000 patients a year in the Kingdom. Studies also show that diabetes in Saudi Arabia is on increase,” said the source.
Obesity and diabetes threaten Gulf states’ economic health as well as human wellbeing, said Minister of Health Khaled Al-Falih.
With most Gulf citizens aged under 30, overweight people and diabetes “threaten the wealth of our society and that is the youth,” Al-Falih said Tuesday evening at the opening of an international conference about the two related health problems.
The minister said 15-20 percent of people in Gulf countries suffer from diabetes.
He cited a global study which put the cost of treating diabetes at $500 billion (440 billion euros) in 2011, a figure set to reach $750 billion by 2030.
“They take up so much financial cost and medical effort that could be better channeled toward achieving valuable medical goals in research and development of health services,” Falih said.
Head of the Scientific Committee at the conference Prof. Tawfiq Khoujah said the conference will feature the participation of over 40 consultants, nine of them are international speakers.
“Gulf countries have the highest rate of diabetes patients in the world. The conference will discuss the latest technologies available for treating diabetes. The participants are from USA, Britain Denmark and other countries,” said Khoujah.
This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on Oct. 22, 2015.