BY PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today, 15 Nov 2009
The UAE is spending Dhs374 million per year to meet expenses of diabetes treatments of various types to the residents of the country, reveals the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Dr Hanif Hassan, the UAE Minister of Health, said the national statistics indicate that incidence of diabetes reached 19.6 per cent in 2005.
"The percentage is expected to further rise to above 28 per cent by the year 2025, if effective preventive measures have not been taken to curb the impact of the epidemic in the society," he added.
According to him, every third patient admitted in the hospitals of the country is suffering from diabetes and its related complications ranging from cardiovascular disorders, kidney failure, blindness and amputations.
As part of integrated anti-diabetes action plans, the MoH has launched a year-long national diabetes awareness campaign, rolling out to coincide with the World Diabetes Day on Nov.14.
Dr Mahmoud Fikri, Chief Executive Officer of Health Policy at the MoH and Chairman of the National Committee for Combating Diabetes, said the outreach programme is aimed at educating school children, parents as well as care-givers and health professionals.
"The comprehensive outreach programme, developed by the National Committee to Combat Diabetes, will ensure participation of various healthcare establishments, corporate entities, sports and leisure organisations," he added.
According to him, the MoH has dedicated the year 2009-2010 to wide variety of activities to fight the disease.
Dr Fikri noted the national campaign becomes significant, as the country is going through considerable economic transformation. So, combined efforts are essential to combat the disease.
"The programme will provide with guidelines to healthcare institutions, urging them to put effective measures in treating the disease, and increase levels of knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals," he pointed out.
Launching the national campaign, Dr Hanif Hassan has announced a number of health projects, planned by the National Committee to be implemented during the next few days to address the serious situation.
"The UAE will host the World Conference on Diabetes annually for five consecutive years, as part of the campaign. The first conference will be held in March 2010," said the minister.
According to Dr Fikri, a programme will be conducted on Nov.24 for giving lessons to school students, teachers, parents and healthcare providers. In addition, training sessions have started by international educationists for 60 nurses.
Dr Hassan said, "According to the national statistics, the UAE is ranked as the world's second largest diabetes prevalent country after Nauru.
"Diabetes has emerged as a significant reason of morbidity and mortality in the Arab world, and the disease results in putting heavy burdens on the individual, family and society in a whole," he added.