Diabetes care professionals from across Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) held a workshop highlighting the important role played by diabetes educators in supporting the delivery of safe care during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The workshop emphasised the role of diabetes self-management education as a key component of patients diabetes care.
Director of Diabetes Education Dr Manal Othman said that in response to the coronavirus pandemic, routine care of diabetes has been complemented by a national outreach program - 'Covid-19 and Diabetes'.
The programme, launched in April 2020 by the National Diabetes Strategy team, in collaboration with QMI, HMC, and the Primary Health Corporation (PHCC), aims to ensure those living with diabetes are receiving optimal care during this period.
The programme aims to help diabetic patients reach and maintain their diabetic therapeutic targets, which also includes control of blood pressure and cholesterol."
The programme delivers essential diabetes care to high-risk patients and proactively prioritises the care of those with poorly controlled diabetes and diabetic patients over the age of 50 years. The programme includes virtual consultations with physicians with follow-up care from diabetes educators to ensure the therapeutic targets are obtained. During the follow-up calls, diabetes educators highlight the importance of self-monitoring and guide patients on how to perform belter self-care. Specific guidance related to living with diabetes during the pandemic is provided, as well as general diabetes self-care which includes topics such as the importance of daily foot examinations, maintaining a healthy diet, and physical fitness.
As part of ensuring patients have access to treatment, the diabetes education team is also providing phone-based emergency care through the diabetes hotline. The hotline, which has received over 5,500 calls since being launched in mid-March, can be accessed by calling 16099 (select option 4), seven days a week between 7am and 10pm. As part of this service, medical advice related to diabetes and Covid-19 is provided to patients and their relatives or caregivers. The diabetes care team is also supporting diabetic patients in the country through visits to quarantine facilities, by sending educational videos in six languages through smartphones, and by circulating SMS educational text messages.