Saudi Gazette – Around 24 percent of the Saudi population are diabetic, Makkah daily quoted a top health expert as saying.

Dr. Bandar Al-Thufairi, medical consultant at King Fahd University Hospital, said Saudi Arabia is ranked the seventh country in the world in the number of diabetes patients.

“Saudi Arabia is ranked the country with the highest rate of diabetes in the Middle East and it performs the highest number of amputation procedures worldwide. The Kingdom performs 6,000 amputations a year,” said Al-Thufairi.

He added the Ministry of Health and health institutes in both the public and private sectors are working on raising awareness among the general public of the severity of diabetes in the Kingdom.

“Dammam University recently organized an awareness campaign on the diabetic foot. The earlier the patient of a diabetic foot receives treatment, the less likely he will have to amputate his foot. Early treatment can lessen the probability of amputation by 80 percent,” said Al-Thufairi.

He also cited medical advancement throughout the years.

“In the past, we were unable to heal the secondary veins in the knee. Healing them required sophisticated medical equipment that only recently became available,” said Al-Thufairi.
He said the high rate of diabetes in the Kingdom is alarming and the general public must be understand the detrimental health risks of diabetes.

“Most of society are not aware of the disease. Awareness is the first step in prevention. The ministry’s campaigns tackle the young and the old, men and women. With more campaigns throughout the Kingdom, the public will become more responsible with regard to the disease,” said Al-Thufairi.

He said diabetes patients and their family members should seek a diet program if they have not done that yet.

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