On World Health Day, Syria still provides free health services to diabetes patients

Damascus, SANA- On April 7th of every year, the world commemorates World Health Day, and in 2016 the World Health Organization selected the slogan “Beat Diabetes ” with the aim of promoting awareness of this disease, especially in the low- and middle-income countries.

Syria is one of the few countries that still provide all means of prevention, checkup, and treatment for free to patients suffering from diabetes, according to Health Minister Nizar Yazigi.

In a statement to SANA, Yazigi explained that the Ministry provides all the preventive and curative health services free for all citizens, especially those who suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, despite the high costs of treatment.

He said the Health Ministry works through the national diabetes program to employ the newest global protocols in addition to offering medication, noting that the total annual costs are estimated at somewhere between SYO 350,000-400,000 for each patient.
The Minister asserted the importance of shedding light on the disease and exerting more efforts to deal with it, as it represents one of the biggest challenges that face the social health system in Syria, pointing out that 13% of the populations suffer from diabetes.

He called for focusing on spreading awareness about diabetes as this is the main way of protection from the disease’s complications.

For his part, Director of the Chronic Diseases Department at the Ministry Ahmad Dmeiriyeh highlighted that the centers which specialize in treating diabetes provide all kinds of services and medications, including insulin and means of injecting it, oral hypoglycemic medication, and therapeutic drugs for treating the various diseases caused by diabetes, such as drugs that lower lipids and cholesterol.

The World Health Organization projects that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death in 2030. In 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes, and more than 80% of diabetes deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

Reem / Hazem Sabbagh

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