From Sana’s Desk – Glucometer Bans

It may come as a surprise to many that visitors are prohibited from bringing glucometers into embassies in Pakistan. Similar situations may exist in other countries where security concerns lead to blanket bans on items necessary for managing diabetes during visa interviews. In Pakistan, individuals are required to leave their glucometers at home or in their vehicles to access the secure Diplomatic Enclave, housing various embassies and high commissions.

Access to the secure zone is granted only to those with valid visa appointment confirmations, facilitated by a designated shuttle bus service after undergoing multiple security checks outside the Diplomatic Enclave. Arrival at least 2 hours prior to the appointment is mandatory, without the option of carrying a glucometer or sensor reader. Additionally, no food or juice is permitted. Visa interview waiting times, following arrival at the embassy on a designated appointment slot, can range from 1 to 3 hours. While some embassies offer cafes and canteens, many do not provide such services.

These conditions pose significant challenges for individuals living with diabetes. Interviewees must endure lengthy periods without the necessary support to manage their blood glucose levels, often resulting in the tendency to maintain higher glucose levels to mitigate the risk of hypoglycemia.

Share with us – Have you ever faced similar situations in your countries, either at embassies or in the streets where some or all are located, at other offices or in airports where security procedures question the carrying of technology for diabetes management? Send us your experiences at