The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) held today an awareness campaign at the DHA headquarters to mark World Diabetes Day, which falls on the 14th of November every year.
The campaign was inaugurated by HE Humaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board and Director General of the Dubai Health Authority.
The campaign took place in coordination with several partners including Novo Nordisk, Abbott Nutrition, Novartis, MSD and Lifescan and included free blood sugar screening and nutritional counselling.
According to International Diabetes Federation, presently, one in 11 adults have diabetes (415 million) and by 2040 this will rise to 642 million. It is estimated that 19 per cent of the population in the UAE suffers from diabetes.
During the campaign, the DHA announced several new initiatives to further enhance the level of care provided to diabetics and to minimize complications associated with the disease.
Al Qatami said: “In addition to sustained public awareness campaigns, developing strong initiatives and devising protocols and policies to help prevent the onset of diabetes as well as better manage the condition of diabetics, is one of the priorities of the DHA. With the introduction of our new initiatives, we aim to provide the highest level of care to our patients and help improve patient outcomes.”
DHA diabetes registry:
The first initiative is a patient diabetes registry that was developed in-house by the DHA diabetes committee and the IT department. The registry clocks in complete details of every diabetic patient that visits any of the DHA health facilities.
Dr Fatheya Al Awadi, Head of Endocrinology at Dubai Hospital and Head of DHA Diabetes Committee, said: “The diabetes registry is a tool that will help us get accurate information about the number of diabetics. We can understand year-on-year statistics to see whether there is an increase in the number of diabetics and we can tailor-make our prevention campaigns accordingly. Furthermore, understanding the number of years a patient has had diabetes helps endocrinologists understand their likelihood of developing complications. This registry is a tool that provides evidence-based data on which we can base preventive and curative policies.”
PDMS system across DHA hospitals:
Al Awadi said that beginning this month, the DHA has introduced a unified protocol of managing diabetes across its health facilities. Known as Program for Diabetes Management System (PDMS), the online system, ensures every diabetic that visits DHA entities receives the same level of multidisciplinary treatment.
The system was available at the Dubai Diabetes Centre and now the same level of care has been extended across all DHA entities.
Al Awadi said: “This system ensures unified multidisciplinary treatment for all patients and since all the key findings for every patient including details of complications are clearly mentioned, we can audit the level of care provided and the benefit patients have received through key performance indicators such as blood sugar control, blood pressure, lipid profile, kidney function etc.”
Introducing joint clinics for diabetics with complications- first-of-its-kind initiative in Dubai.
Dr Mohammed Hassanein, Senior Consultant Endocrinologist at Dubai Hospital and Member of DHA Diabetes Committee, said that DHA has also introduced joint clinics for diabetics with complications to ensure they receive highest level of multidisciplinary care and for their convenience. He said the joint clinics provide an opportunity for diabetics to visit multiple healthcare experts at the same time rather than taking several appointments which is time-consuming and inconvenient.
The joint clinic is the first-of-its kind initiative in Dubai.
Hassanein said: “For pregnant women who are diabetic, pre-diabetic or have gestational diabetes, we have a joint clinic so that they can visit their obstetrician and their endocrinologist at the same time. This ensures excellent levels of multidisciplinary treatment and is time-saving.”
The clinic is available on a weekly basis at Dubai Hospital and on a monthly basis at Latifa Hospital.
Similarly, the DHA has introduced two new joint clinics in Dubai Hospital. The first clinic is a joint clinic with nephrologists and endocrinologists for diabetics with kidney problems. This clinic will take place on a monthly basis. The second clinic is a bi-monthly clinic with thyroid surgeons and endocrinologists.
Hassanein said: “In the thyroid joint clinic, patients will undergo an ultrasound and biopsy on the same day and within two weeks they will receive a treatment plan which is based on inputs from multidisciplinary medical experts.”
Diabetes Transition Care Program for Young Adults:
Al Awadi said paediatric patients with diabetes are moved to the adult clinic when they are 13 years of age. To ease this transition, DHA has introduced a joint clinic with paediatric endocrinologists and adult endocrinologists so that young adults are comfortable in their new healthcare environment. The clinic will begin within the next few weeks.
Diabetes app in the pipeline:
In addition to these initiatives, the DHA will shortly launch a diabetes app to educate diabetics on better management of their condition. Al Awadi said: “The DHA is keen to provide the highest level of care to diabetic patients and we will continue to roll out such initiatives which provide patients with convenience and ensure better patient compliance and outcomes.”