DHA Director-General inaugurates 1st American Diabetes Association Middle-East Congress
- United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, December 04 - 2012 at 15:52
- PRESS RELEASE
His Excellency Engineer Essa Al Haj Al Maidoor, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority, inaugurated the 1st American Diabetes Association Middle-East Congress, which is taking place for the first time in the region.
The highlight of the congress is workshops for primary healthcare physicians on detecting diabetes early on and aggressively managing the disease so as to avoid its complications.
HE. Eng. Al Maidoor, said, "Diabetes is a concern for all healthcare systems globally and especially in this region. Hosting, attending and supporting congresses such as this one is an important part of our strategy as such conferences provide a platform for exchange of the latest developments and success models in dealing with the disease.
"At the DHA, we are working at various levels from public awareness and outreach to enforcing policies and plans to ensure we combat this disease and slow the growth curve of diabetes in the UAE. We recognize that primary healthcare is frontline healthcare and one of our main aims is to further empower and train our primary healthcare physicians to detect diabetes early on, so that we can help pre-diabetics postpone or avoid the advent of the disease and so that diabetics are aware of their disease and manage their condition effectively," he added.
Professor John E Anderson, President of the American Diabetes Association, said, "We selected this region to host the congress because this region is the epicentre of the diabetes pandemic. In terms of statistics, in 2011, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, 32.6 million people suffer from diabetes and this number is expected to reach 59.7 million by 2030. This means an 83% increase in the number of diabetes and this is simply unacceptable. Therefore, the region needs to adopt aggressive public outreach and awareness methods."
"For this region and for the UAE, we believe the approach needs to be two-fold. On one hand public outreach and awareness is important and on the other, empowering the primary healthcare professionals to detect the disease early on is equally important," he added.
"The challenge for this region and the UAE is not only the number of diabetics but also the complications that come with the disease. The disease affects all parts of the body and it is estimated that 70% of people with type 2 diabetes die due to stroke or cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, ensuring that people with pre-diabetes and diabetes are detected early on is of absolute importance to help manage diabetes," he concluded.
He said, "On an average in the USA, it is estimated that every diabetic has at least 8 to 9 medications per day to manage the complications of the disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc."
"The region has to focus on how to slow or rather flatten the growth curve of diabetes and to do this, it is important to lower the percentage of undiagnosed diabetes cases in the UAE and the region. To sum up, I would say, that the region has to follow a two-fold method of educating both the public as well as its primary healthcare physicians," he further added.
Dr Mohamed Farghaly, Head of Acute and Chronic care, Primary Health Care Sector, said, "The DHA is adopting this model and that the authority is following a multi-disciplinary approach to combat the disease. "We have been training our primary healthcare physicians so that they undertake a detailed history of every patient that walks into the clinic and carefully screen patients who are at a risk for developing diabetes. At the same time, we are, through various campaigns reaching out to our society and educating them on the importance making fundamental changes in their diet and lifestyle. This is an ongoing process and a challenging one, because it is not easy to make people change their lifestyle," he added.
In terms of treatment of diabetes, Dr Mohammed Hamed Farooqi, Director of the Dubai Diabetes Centre said, "Over the years, there has been an increase in awareness about the need for multidisciplinary care for diabetes and that is the model we follow at our centre. From an endocrinologist to an exercise physiologist, every patient is required to meet a panel of doctors to ensure we manage and treat the complications of diabetes early on."
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