The Diabetes Centre (TDC), a not for profit organisation, has been treating unprivileged diabetes patients and spreading awareness about the chronic disease since its launch in 2012.
Dr Asjad Hameed, founder of TDC, along with few other co-founders opened a small clinic at Phulgran which is located at the outskirts of Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. The clinic has to-date treated more than 17,000 patients free of cost and at present serving around 500 patients per week who mainly come from various districts of northern Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A dynamic team of 11 full-time and visiting specialist doctors and 20 support staff are delivering best possible services six days a week.
Diabetes prevalence in Pakistan is high, 12% of people above 25 years of age suffer from the condition and 10% have impaired glucose tolerance. The inadequacy of healthcare services in the country means that the people with diabetes cannot be provided the care they require. In human and financial terms, the burden is huge and it is hitting the poor especially hard. Often thought of as a disease of the rich, experts say the unabating rise may be fuelled as much by food scarcity and insecurity as it is by excess. Changing lifestyles, rapid urbanisation and cheap calories in the form of processed foods are putting more and more people at risk of developing Type-2 diabetes. Men and women, trapped by stigma, poverty and misinformation, often do not seek help for diabetes until it is in its advanced stages. Kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and blindness are common complications.
Realising the magnitude of diabetes epidemic and lack of specialised medical facility in the country, TDC under the leadership of its founder is building a state of the art hospital besides the clinic. The hospital, first of its kind in South Asia, will have 08 different departments to provide a comprehensive solution to patients suffering from complexities of this deadly disease. More than 50% of the hospital construction work has been completed. It is anticipated that after opening the hospital will be able to serve 600 – 800 patients per day.
TDC in the meanwhile is focusing on educating the masses by regularly setting up free medical camps and awareness sessions at various locations within the country. A highly informative campaign on how to prevent and combat the disease is also being run through the social media platforms.
TDC is inaudibly sharing the burden of government hospitals and has started to create an unignorable socio-economic impact. This is evident from the rapid growth in the number of new patients seeking appointments every week.
The substantial contributions of local and international philanthropists, charities and corporate entities in the form of zakat and general donations have so far made TDC’s journey a success.