One million diabetics in Nepal

KATHMANDU: The number of eye patients has been increasing with the corresponding increase in the number of diabetics largely because of the change in lifestyle and food habits of the people in the country as explained by the doctors.

It is said the number of people losing eyesight due to the various eye problems related to diabetes is also on the rise. There is a high chance of eye problems developing in people with diabetes. There are around one million diabetics in the country at present.

Doctors say that people with diabetes have two times more probability of developing eye problems and 25 times greater risk of blindness. Likewise, there is high risk of a child born of a diabetic woman to be born with diabetes.

"Diabetes has been seen even in people at a younger age due to the habit of living a luxurious lifestyle and the change in food culture, which is a matter of concern," said senior ophthalmologist Dr OK Malla. He also advised diabetics to have regular eye check-ups.

As per the data provided by the International Diabetes Association, nearly five per cent blindness among people globally, results from diabetes. Meanwhile, thirteen per cent of the blindness in Nepal is due to diabetes.

In this backdrop, Vice President of Nepal Diabetes Association, Dr Madhur Dev Bhattarai, underlines the need of undertaking a country-wide programme for prevention of blindness due to diabetes. He also pointed out to the dearth of technology and human resources to cope with the increasing number of diabetics in the country.