Up to a quarter of Bahrainis are at risk of developing diabetes if the Gulf state does not develop a national plan to prevent spread of the disease, the country’s health minister was quoted as saying.
Sadiq Al Shehabi this week told delegates at a conference on diabetes that 14 percent of people in Bahrain aged 20 or over are already suffering from the illness with rates increasing, Gulf Daily News reported.
"It is for this very reason that we are required to set up a comprehensive national plan that is in line with the Gulf and international objectives and strategies for the prevention of such chronic diseases,” Al Shehabi was quoted as saying.
"There is a need to seriously and comprehensively fight diabetes and all its associated diseases to control its complications and enhance its treatment," he added.
Bahrain’s Prime Minister recently ordered the construction of a new medical complex on the island that will house a national centre for treatment of diabetes, Al Shehabi said.
According to a report published by the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) last year, five of the ten countries where diabetes is most prevalent are located in the six-nation GCC.
In Kuwait, around 21.1 percent of the local population is suffering from the disease, said the IDF, while prevalence rates in the rest of the Gulf hover around the 20 percent mark.