Medi-snippets: Diabetes afflicting more Lankan youth | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Diabetes afflicting more Lankan youth

President of the Sri Lanka College of Endocrinologists , Dr Manilka Sumanatilleke has reportedly expressed concern over the fact that doctors are now seeing youth in the age group 18-20 being afflicted by the disease, once considered a disease of the elderly. Dubbing it as a ‘Diabetes tsunami’, he reportedly said that urgent measures were needed to meet this health crisis and appealed to the public to cooperate in curbing it. Giving hope of regression of diabetes following early detection and treatment, he is said to have opined that if diagnosed early, medications taken correctly according to prescription and ingesting a healthy diet accompanied by a regular exercise regimen, instances of regression of Type 2 diabetes had been recorded. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes in Sri Lanka, affecting more than half the diabetic patients. It is also the 5th leading cause of death worldwide.

National level diabetes screening program

An ambitious national level diabetes screening program is to be launched to screen at least 50,000 previously undiagnosed people. This will be followed by providing those found with diabetes, guidance on managing their condition and those at high risk (impaired fasting glucose) with lifestyle advice to prevent further progression. Director General Health Services Dr Anil Jasinghe was quoted as saying at a discussion on ‘Family & Diabetes’ attended by top doctors in the field representing the Health Ministry’s Non Communicable Disease Bureau, Sri Lanka College of Endocrinologists and Sri Lanka Diabetes Federation that cooperation at all levels was vital to win the war against diabetes. He further said that next year the primary healthcare program would be strengthened and grassroots level small institutions empowered, while doctors serving there will become ‘Family Doctors.’

Mental Health Week at workplace

This week, attention is on mental health at the workplace. According to a recent documentation by the Mental Health Unit of the Health Ministry, one in every five Sri Lankan public health sector employee suffers from stress. The number of persons seeking medical treatment for mental disorders has also reportedly shown an increase according to the same statistics. Unnamed officials were quoted as saying that problems in offices and homes, as well as their busy competitive lifestyle has led to this situation leading to a negative impact on the entire society. Director of the Mental Health Unit, Dr Chithramali De Silva was reported to have said that the number of Lankans suffering from depression would be significantly increased by 2030. At present over 800,000 persons in Sri Lanka are said to suffer from depression, while 3,263 of them committed suicide last year (2017), 2,586 of them males and 677 females.

The Unit has distributed pamphlets and guidelines to workplaces on managing mental health at workplaces . They include advice on developing a good routine, maintaining physical health, staying organised, taking time for oneself, surrounding oneself with positive people, and understanding that nothing can be perfect. According to the World Health Organisation, work is good for mental health, but a negative working environment can lead to physical and mental health issues, as well as harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.

Meanwhile, the Hemmathagma Divisional Hospital staff has reportedly said that so far no one has come to pick up a patient suffering from a mental illness who had been in the hospital for a long time. They have said that other patients were reluctant to stay around him as he was distraught and suffered from insomnia. The Mawanella Grama Niladhari and Divisional Secretary are said to have been informed of the matter.

Lead Safe Week

A Lead Safe Week as part of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week which fell last month ( October 21-27) was kick started in Sri Lanka by a private leading paint company Multilac for the third consecutive year. The theme was on the need for individuals, civil society organisations, industry and governments to work together to ban lead paint. A spokesperson for the Company was quoted as saying that the Centre for Environmental Justice had identified through research areas that had a high lead content, and the company had provided 15pre schools in the area with lead safe paint, raising awareness as well.

Dental Quacks

A former President of the General Dental Practitioners’ Association, Dr Hilary Cooray, has charged that there are about 3,000 quack dentists operating in the country. Addressing the media recently following an awards ceremony organised for the first time to honour those in the dental profession, he reportedly said that while there were around 3,000 dentists registered with the Sri Lanka Medical Council ( SLMC) about 2,500 were active. He said, the bogus dentists were not real dentists but those who assisted the genuine dentists. “Real dentists are registered with the SLMC, with a displayed registered number. The registration number is also displayed on their prescriptions to verify that they are doctors registered with the SLMC”, he noted. He further charged that quack doctors could also display a number to claim they were registered doctors.

“The best way is to check through the SLMC .There is no other way to identify them”, he reportedly said. He further noted that it was difficult to nab bogus dentists and take legal action against them. “People have to go to Police Stations and complain or take them to courts. But many refuse to do so saying it is a waste of time. We have seen patients coming to us with severe consequences after being treated by bogus Dentists. The advice of this Association is to be aware of these quacks and the harm they can do”, he reportedly said.

Satellite programs on Diabetes

Satellite programs to carry forward the message of diabetes and its complications, were held in 36 main towns outside Colombo from November 12 – 16. These programs included diabetes tests and complications screening, health education seminars, exhibitions and mini walks. A series of marathons, cycling events and other public mobilising programs were also held. The main event for World Diabetes Day included an exhibition and health screening for all attendees, free eye tests, blood sugar tests and advice and counselling by professionals, held on Nov.11 at Green Path Colombo.

Hospital MO’s quarters dilapidated

The Rasnayakapura Hospital Medical Officer’s quarters is in a dilapidated condition and unfit for occupation. The Hospital Development Committee has reportedly said that around 33,000 residents in the Rasnayakapura’s 28 Grama Niladhari divisions depend on the Hospital, urging the authorities to resolve the issue immediately.