Dialogue on medicines and technologies for diabetes care

Dr Hina Jawaid (Pakistan) participated, on behalf of WONCA, in a series of dialogues organised by the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD) of the World Health Organization (WHO), which were carried out virtually on 23 and 24 February 2021 from Geneva, Switzerland, with speakers connected from multiple regions around the world.

These interventions were part of the preamble to launch the WHO Global Diabetes Compact, to be released next April, which marks the 100th anniversary of insulin first used in the treatment of diabetes.

The dialogues aimed to define meaningful and effective contributions to implement national responses for the prevention, management and control of Noncommunicable Diseases and the attainment of related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets.

Read below the message that Dr Jawaid prepared after her participation.

Message from Dr Hina Jawaid

I would like to thank WONCA -World Organization of Family Doctors- for asking me to speak on their behalf. I am a General Practitioner, had training in the UK. I have the clinical experience of working in the NHS, have maintained a portfolio of support information, professional knowledge & skills and appraisals are up to date.

In Pakistan, I work as Assistant Professor in Family Medicine at the University of Health Sciences Lahore. Working in these two countries have given me a chance to understand the health systems more closely, particularly identify ways to improve the quality of care in health facilities in Pakistan. I am currently involved in the training of medical officers based in primary care facilities of the public sector in the south of Punjab,  which represents a primary care transformation initiative, like no other taken in the province ever before.

While attending the private sector dialogue on SDG 3.4 NCDs, I had a chance to listen to other speakers, including Daniela Rojas, representative of People living with NCDs.  

My talk aimed to present the real challenges faced, by myself and fellow family physicians, not only from Pakistan but also from other countries in South Asia. With a massive burden of NCDs in our region and a lack of a well-established and functioning primary care system, I believe both public and private sectors have a crucial role in dealing with these chronic diseases. 

The continuing medical educational (CMEs) activities, arranged by the private sector (pharmaceuticals), must focus on evidence-based medicine, encourage GPs/ family physicians to be patient advocates, and provide medications/ related products at a discounted rate, especially in COVID-19 times when a significant number of families have been affected by job losses.  

In conclusion, governments and private sector companies must collaborate and take measures to ensure that patients with diabetes, particularly type 1 DM, must not be left untreated. Those patients should be fully supported through pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.