About 16% of the adult Qatari population between the age of 20 and 79 suffers from diabetes, according to a statement issued by Action on Diabetes (AOD).
AOD is a joint initiative by the Supreme Council of Health, Hamad Medical Corporation ( HMC), Qatar Diabetes Association, Maersk Oil and world leader in diabetes care Novo Nordisk.
Action on Diabetes (AOD) recently completed the public screening campaigns that have been running across malls in Doha last month.
As a reaction to these growing numbers, the AOD public screening campaign focused on reaching out to Qatar’s local population and providing free diabetes testing as well as guidance by professional dieticians from the Qatar Diabetes Association and Hamad Medical Corporation through a specialist screening booth placed in various malls across Qatar.
The results of the screenings suggest that a high percentage of Qatar’s residents have too high blood sugar levels.
Out of the 2,785 individuals that were screened during the campaign, 553 individuals had diabetes or showed abnormal high levels of blood sugar.
The alarming fact was that 86% of the individuals tested, were unaware that they had abnormal high blood sugar.
All individuals at risk of developing diabetes had a consultation with a diabetes educator and were referred to adequate health care at assigned centres and physicians.
Raising awareness about diabetes and the need to be regularly screened was one of the main objectives of the campaign as early detection is able to stop the onset of the disease which is currently rising at record rates in Qatar.
Dr Mahmoud Zirie, head of Endorcinology at HMC, said: “The campaign highlighted that the number of people in Qatar who are unaware of their diabetes condition or are pre-diabetic is rather high. By 2030, it is estimated that the number of people with diabetes will almost double. However, with initiatives such as the screening campaign, we are trying to significantly lower these numbers through education, early detection and intervention.”
Working to raise the general awareness of diabetes, with particular focus on increasing public knowledge and understanding of the risk factors involved, AOD aims at informing and encouraging the community in Qatar to make real life-style changes that make a difference both to those who already have diabetes, but also in preventing those at risk from developing it in the future.
Dr Abdulla al-Hamaq, director of Qatar Diabetes Association, member of Qatar Foundation, commented, “Diabetes prevention is in your hands - this is the message we want to deliver and hope that this screening campaign has gone someway in really making this point. Diabetes screening tests are a good preventive method for catching the development of diabetes at an early stage.”
AOD has also launched a ‘Fasting & Health’ daily programme running throughout the holy month of Ramadan on the Qur’an station 103.4FM, from Sunday to Thursday at 13:00. The hour-long programme aims at giving medical lessons on how to deal with difficult health situations during Ramadan.
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