By PMA RASHEED
3 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today
THE federal health body of the UAE is on a warpath against the alarming prevalence of diabetes among the residents of the country.
As researches and studies indicated that cases of diabetes are enormously increasing in the emirates, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has planned to orchestrate a line-up of in-depth community education programmes and active global debates on the menace of diabetes.
The health ministry is currently staging a month-long nationwide anti-diabetes drive, coinciding with the World Diabetes Day, which falls on Nov.14.
All strategic locations in the UAE will be illuminated in blue colour from Nov.11-18, as per international guidelines to spread rays of knowledge about the dangers of diabetes, according to a senior health official.
Dr Mahmood Fikri, executive director for health policies at the MoH, said that the country’s first international conference on the complications of diabetes will be conducted on Thursday at Rashid Centre for Diabetes Research (RCDR) in Ajman.
“The global medical symposium will discuss the issue of gastric emptying that mainly contributes to the stressful complications of diabetes in the region, especially in the UAE,” he added.
“Recent studies have revealed that delay in eating sufficient quantity of food often reduces the chances of curing the complications due to diabetes, but also adds to the suffering of the patients.”
“The conference will review the correlation between diabetes and empty stomach for the Gulf’s diabetics, as well as the latest medical solutions to improve their health status,” pointed out chairman of the national diabetes committee.
“Meanwhile,” he said, “the month-long drive to fight diabetes will raise potential awareness among the community members about the fatal consequences of the chronic lifestyle disease that mainly pop up as a result of incorrect health behaviours and habits.”
“Numerous activities are taking place to implement the MoH’s strategies to battle against the disease during the last quarter of the year. The diabetics will be educated on special care to prevent damages to their feet and eyes,” he pointed out.
“All the activities are focused on teaching the general public to adopt new healthy lifestyles and the importance of having healthy meals and engaging in regular physical exercises to avoid risks of diabetes,” Dr Fikri elaborated.
He urged the public to conduct regular tests to measure their blood sugar percentage and receive early treatment to avoid disastrous complications.
According to him, several free tests will be conducted for school students during the month. Teachers and nurses of public schools will be given training on Nov.8 at Dubai Women’s Union hall on the methods to save children from diabetes.
“An anti-diabetes march will be staged on Nov.11 by the MoH, in association with Ajman University and Gulf Medical University, beginning from the RCDR in Ajman and moving towards Ajman City Centre. Different health establishments will showcase their anti-diabetes programmes at a large health tent set up by the MoH,” he informed.
“The ministry will also supervise free blood sugar tests for the public provided to the visitors of shopping malls and health centres in Dubai. The diabetes early detection and awareness campaigns will continue in Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, and Al Fujairah shopping malls,” Dr Fikri added.
“Meanwhile, the global awareness initiative ‘Changing Diabetes Bus’ will arrive in the UAE on Nov.6 and will carry out about 7,500 early diabetes screening tests as it tours across Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The bus will be touring in the emirates until Jan.4”
“A series of medical conferences has also been designed to disseminate results of anti-diabetes strategies to help doctors, nurses and technicians learn the new trends in curing the disease,” he noted.
“The international conference at the RCDR in Ajman, in tandem with Lund University in Sweden, aims at providing the best treatment methods for diabetes patients and transferring knowledge quality for government and private sectors to improve the health services in the UAE,” he added.
According to him, the conference will also discuss nutrition interference and its impact on gastric emptying, and role of radiology in examining gastric movement as a main tool in nutrition.
“The MoH has also approved five credit hours for continuous medical education (CME) for the doctors and other medical professionals participating in the RCDR diabetes conference,” said Dr Fikri.
(Pic for illustrative purpose)