Latest data shows that diabetes is on the rise in Qatar and poses a serious threat to the health of the nation, according to an expert. Health experts and decision makers will meet today to establish a diabetes prevention programme for the country.
Diabetes is becoming more and more common in Qatar. The prevalence has raised to 20.2 percent, here, according to International Diabetes Federation (IDF) report published this year,” said Dr Buthina Ibrahim, Senior Consultant, Endocrinology and Diabetes, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).
“The figure is alarming and calls for an immediate action that needs to be taken as early as possible to prevent the incidence of the disease. All here have responsibility in curbing the increasing incidence of diabetes, by initiating small lifestyle changes,” she told the media at the sidelines of diabetes awareness activities- Health Village- at Katara.
The two-day awareness activities, under a new initiative -Action on Diabetes, is organised by the Supreme Council of Health (SCH), HMC, Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA), Maersk Oil and Novo Nordisk, along with Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar.
“Diabetes is much prevalent in this Arab region with incidence between 15 to 20 percent in most of the countries, while in other regions it is between six to 10 percent. This shows the incidence in this region is more than double when compared with other countries. Hence the events as part of this World Diabetes Day (WDD) focus on prevention and awareness, hoping to decrease the incidence,” said Dr Mahmoud Zirie, Consultant-Head of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department, HMC.
“As part of our efforts, health experts and decision makers will gather tomorrow (Nov 26) at Sheraton to establish a diabetes prevention method. They will discuss on initiating a programme to control the disease,” he said yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Health Village at Katarta, aims to raise awareness of diabetes, the symptoms, and the lifestyle factors that cause it. It also aims to promote healthy lifestyle elements that can help prevent the development of diabetes and give people an opportunity to get health checks and advice.
“We have two diabetes clinics in Hamad General Hospital, of which one is a walk in clinic. Some 20 to 40 new cases come to us on daily basis in these clinics. Also similar clinic at Women’s Hospital sees 10 to 15 cases of gestational diabetes. We assess each case and chart out an education plan for patients. Diabetes education is also done for doctors and general public,” said Manal Musallam, Senior Diabetes Educator, HMC.
Five tents have been put up at the Health Village, offering variety of activities and awareness programmes for all. Separate healthy lifestyle tents for men and women offer various sports activities, Wii games and personal trainers.
Thousand of people had their blood sugar tested at the health check tent, and were given result cards, apart from advice on follow-up.
Expert chefs demonstrated easy and healthy food preparations at the Healthy Diet tent, while the dieticians informed people on eating right. Lung tests and foot care consultation were provided at StopSmoking and Foot Care tent. Added to this, children had a variety of fun events with face paintings and others apart from being given balloons and hula hoops.
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