‘Urbanites vulnerable to type 2 diabetes’

Updated 24 April 2013

‘Urbanites vulnerable to type 2 diabetes’

Environmental pollution can cause extensive problems and physical inflammation that can contribute to the increasing incident of type 2 diabetes in Saudi urban areas, said Sultan Ayoub Meo. He was speaking at a workshop in which he discussed the onslaught of pollution on urban regions.
Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, is rampant in the Kingdom, particularly in urban areas. About 32 percent of the population is suffering from diabetes. The disease stems from factors such as ageing, a sedentary lifestyle, gluttony, obesity, socio-psychological changes, smoking, urbanization and air pollution.
Meo is a professor of physiology and a researcher at King Saud University and holds fellowships from the schools of medicine in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dublin.
About 347 million people are affected with diabetes across the globe and another 418 million have developed impaired glucose tolerance, an ailment related to diabetes. “Eight persons die per minute due to complications resulting from diabetes,” Meo said.
Environmental pollution comprises intoxicant chemicals, particulate matter and biological waste. Due to the rapid industrialization, the presence of these chemicals in the environment is on the rise and is working to the detriment of living organisms.
“Our respiratory system,” he stressed, “is most vulnerable to dust and fumes. They can cause pulmonary and systemic inflammation,” he said.
Occupational and environmental exposure to dust and fumes causes lung function impairment, which exacerbates insulin-resistance and increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
Elaborating on the types of diabetes caused by environmental contamination, Meo observed that dust, gaseous fumes, tobacco smoke, and emissions from motor vehicles are considered major factors in triggering the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Meo has spent many years researching the disease. He observed that those living on or around motorways and busy roads are at a greater risk of contracting the ailment. He stressed that type 2 diabetes and its ensuing complications can be avoided through a healthy diet, regular physical activity, obesity control and abstinence from smoking.

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 6 min 43 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.