A section of the audience at the conference. INSET: Dr Mahmoud Zerie addressing the conference yesterday.PICTURE: Jayan Orma
By Joseph Varghese
Qatar will establish a metabolic care research facility in the next few weeks to study and combat diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, a senior official of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) revealed yesterday.
Dr Mahmoud Zerie, senior consultant and head of the Endocrine and Diabetes Division within HMC’s Medicine Department, said that a grant had already been received to launch the facility.
“HMC has already approved the metabolic care research facility. This unit, along with translational research centre, will be launched in the next few weeks,” Zerie explained at the Excellence in Diabetes (EiD) three-day conference that began at the Qatar National Convention Centre yesterday.
Pointing out that there was a very high prevalence of diabetes in the country and the region, Zerie observed that Qatar stood 10th among the top 10 countries with the highest incidence of diabetes.
“Three GCC countries - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar - are on the list of first 10 countries with highest diabetes. As per a survey conducted by the Supreme Council of Health (SCH), Qatar has 16.7% prevalence of diabetes as of 2012. This is alarming news.”
The official asserted that Qatar had initiated a number of efforts to counter the rising menace of diabetes. “Organisations such as SCH, HMC, Primary Health Care Centre (PHCC) and Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA) have undertaken many initiatives to manage diabetes. Many private organisations also have joined hands with the government bodies to fight this deadly disease.”
Zerie called the diabetes centre in Qatar “a one-stop care centre”.
He said: “The centre provides all the information and treatment that patients need. There are also a number of educational programmes so that the public can understand different activities that will help them to prevent and tackle the disease.”
He highlighted a project named “Action on Diabetes”, organised by public and private organisations in the country. “Action on Diabetes is a major initiative jointly organised by institutions such as SCH, HMC, PHCC and QDA, with financial support from Maersk Oil Qatar.”
Zerie spoke about various programmes that are organised to fight diabetes. A walkathon is organised every year to spread awareness on diabetes.
“Similarly, Qatar has launched a mobile diabetes unit that offers help for the diabetic patients at their homes. Many awareness programmes are conducted on diabetes and abundant information is disseminated to the public to combat the prevalence of diabetes in Qatar,” he added.