Posted on March 24th, 2023

Priyantha Hettige

Hospitals in Sri Lanka are being overwhelmed by a huge wave of Diabetes and Diabetes related cases. It seems that many people, usually over the age of forty, are consuming sugary foods and carbohydrates and getting not enough exercise, leading to insulin resistance.

They become ill. Go to any hospital, island wide and it is the same story, rooms and hallways jammed packed with people lying on beds.

They become ill, then government hospitals are expected to repair the damage. The taxpayer has to foot the bill – pay the costs of treatment.

Businessmen are profiting from this system by offering sweets, cakes, biscuits etc. They are profiting from the bad eating habits of Sri Lankans.

But this remedial treatment costs the government much money. The cost of running a hospital; providing medicine and providing doctors and staff care is hugely expensive. Now, the price of insulin is very high and it is sometimes not available to patients in need.

The question must be asked – how can this flood of diabetes cases be reduced to save the government money?

Not only is the treatment expensive, but also this disease is ruining healthy people’s lives. Added to that there is a loss in happiness – they are not working, earning money and going out enjoying themselves.

Diabetes progresses; it develops. In time, feet can turn black, eyes swell and blindness follows. Heart attacks are common and so is dementia.  cardio-vascular disease, ‘stroke’ incidences increase. Because feet become swollen and distorted this prevents people from walking properly.

It is as if Sri Lankans are indifferent to this disease- up the point when they need treatment for their eyes – but then it is too late.

Eminent U.S. Medical doctors tell how sugar damages our mitochondria, but in a less sever way but with the same effect as, suppose, we eat cyanide. But people do not know this!

The government need to take this issue seriously even if the people do not. It is estimated that as many as thirty thousand people die of Diabetes and other Insulin Resistant causes each year. This is a huge number, just to support a sugar industry.  The government must treat it as they did for smoking prevention.

Colourful images of seriously decayed people with diabetes are needed to be displayed on the labels of fizzy drinks bottles. They can be placed in cake stores, and so on. Public awareness of this issue needs to be raised.

People need to change their lifestyle. People get out of shape. Towns need to be more user friendly. Overloaded busses in the evenings are a problem. Struggling to catch the last bus at 5.00pm is stressful. People should be served by a sufficient bus service allowing them to be relaxed, fit and healthy.

It is a matter for the leaders of society to take the lead. To raise the climate of public opinion. Local governments should build jogging tracks. Some countries build sports halls for people to have fun and go trampoline-ing and obstacle course rope climbing. Other countries do this for their citizens, why not here?

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