Action on Diabetes (AOD) a public-private partnership initiated and funded by Maersk Oil Qatar, has successfully tested and consulted more than 200 students and employees at Qatar University in line with its continued efforts to seed behaviour change and encourage a healthier lifestyle amongst the local community.
The three-day campaign is part of AOD’s major workplace diabetes screening programme and it marks Qatar University’s participation in World Diabetes Day activities. The AOD campaign aims to tackle diabetes in Qatar both by educating members of the community and those at risk on the contributing factors, empowering them to manage the condition and prevent it through early detection.
Students visited the screening bus, which was situated on campus at Qatar University’s College of Arts and Sciences. A full range of testing equipment onboard enables screening of blood glucose, HbA1c, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure.
Dr. Asma Al Thani, Head of Department of Health & Sciences from Qatar University’s College of Arts and Sciences, said:
“We are very pleased to have welcomed the Action on Diabetes screening bus to our premises to test our students and staff for diabetes. It was great to see so many people visit the bus to get screened. We hope that everyone tested also gained the advice and support needed to make positive, healthy changes to their change their lifestyles to prevent diabetes.
Sheikh Faisal Al Thani, Deputy Managing Director of Maersk Oil Qatar, said: ‘Action on Diabetes is one of our flagship social investment programmes towards supporting Maersk Oil Qatar’s commitment to deliver long-lasting benefits to Qatar and to its people. Early detection for diabetes is vital to allow diabetes to be properly managed and complications prevented and we’re very grateful to Qatar University for playing a role in helping to combat diabetes, one of Qatar’s greatest health challenges.’
As well as screening employees for diabetes, the nurses and educators also provided recommendations on how to reduce the risk of developing diabetes in the future. Those tested received a personalised analysis of their results, complete with colour-coded graphs showing their risk levels, as well as recommendations to improve their score over time. A diabetes health audit was provided to employers along with a final report which aggregated screening results with follow-up recommendations.
Herluf Nis Thomsen, Senior Project Manager at Action on Diabetes, said: “The proportion of people with diabetes in Qatar is among the highest in the world – around 16.7 percent of Qataris have the condition and half of them are undiagnosed. In addition, the International Diabetes Federation predicts that 25 percent of all Qataris will have diabetes by 2030, if the issue is not tackled and necessary lifestyle changes are not adopted. This is why it is very important for us to continue raising awareness of diabetes. We will continue to visit some of Qatar’s largest organisations throughout this year and next, to seed behaviour change amongst the local community and tackle diabetes together.”