(MENAFN - Arab News) E kingdom is to produce insulin in the kingdom to cater to the rising diabetic population said salah al-mazrou deputy health minister for supplies and engineering affairs during a press conference at the ministry headquarters on monday.the press conference was held to announce the saudi health exhibition & conference 2014 the largest health care event in saudi arabia which will take place between may 19 to 21.he said that a contract for insulin manufacturing in the kingdom would be inked shortly and that production would begin soon since infrastructural work has already been completed. there are some 36 million diabetics in the middle east and north africa alone. 'the global level is expected to reach 552 million diabetics by 2030" he said. the kingdom is among the top ten countries that suffer from diabetes globally. there is a 14-percent prevalence of the disease among people of all age groups in the kingdom. type one diabetes is most prevalent among adults over the age of 40.al-mazrou said that the kingdom is trying to be self-sufficient in drug and medicine production to reduce the rate of imports.there are some 13 pharmaceutical factories in the kingdom. 'we have also signed an agreement with aventis and gsk to produce all types of vaccines in the kingdom which not only caters to the people living in the kingdom but also to millions of haj and umrah pilgrims who visit makkah throughout the year" he said.the ministry of health in cooperation with the riyadh exhibitions company (rec) and informa life science exhibitions is organizing the largest health care event in saudi arabia to promote development of the local health care industry while raising the bar on human competencies.'the ministry offers an important forum to boost communication and strategic partnership between the public and private sectors in the kingdom as well as to encourage the exchange of knowledge and expertise with leading regional and international entities" he said. 'the forum is aimed at effectively dealing with emerging challenges and making use of opportunities to promote the health care sector in the kingdom."