As many as 8,000 people die from diabetes every year in Thailand, and another 3.5 million are suffering from the disease.

The statistics were taken from a 2012 survey on people over 15 years old.

Thai Health Minister Pradit Sintawanarong said diabetes is rising in children due to eating food with high glucose levels, warning that the number of patients suffering from the disease could rocket to 4.7 million within the next eight years.

He raised concerns that about one-third of the patients do not take their situation seriously, resulting in many of them getting other conditions such as blindness, and heart and kidney failure.

In the country, the annual cost of treatment stands at 47.6 billion baht (1.53 billion USD), therefore prevention is the most effective way, the minister assessed.

From 2014, Thai Health Ministry will provide 90 percent of its population above the age of 15 with diabetes tests along with recommendations for good eating habits and appropriate drugs.-VNA