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.