* The launch of the platform will also promote self-management of diabetes through education, knowledge and psychological support

Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA), a member of Qatar Foundation, has launched its Blue4diabetes virtual platform ahead of World Diabetes Day (WDD).
Aimed at creating awareness of diabetes and diabetes prevention, it also promotes self-management of the disease through education, knowledge and psychological support.
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are on the rise in the GCC region, affecting adults and youth alike.
A disease previously known to predominantly affect adults, type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in young adults and children due to unhealthy eating habits, resulting in growing obesity in the younger population. While type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, the International Diabetes Federation says up to 70% of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles and eating habits.
QDA’s Blue4diabetes virtual platform includes a series of activities to drive better understanding of the condition, including a virtual walkathon on a mobile app, an online test that checks the users’ potential risk of type 2 diabetes, educational games on healthy eating habits and sport challenges. Health educators have a significant role to play in helping people with diabetes manage their condition effectively, and the platform also shares educational learning from major academic and health institutions in Qatar.
Commenting on QDA’s activities marking World Diabetes Day, which is celebrated annually on November 14, QDA executive director Dr Abdulla al-Hamaq said: “This year, in collaboration with the International Diabetes Federation, we will focus on access to diabetes care. People with diabetes require access to care and education to better manage their diabetes and improve their health outcomes. Through this platform, we will work to raise awareness of the need to prevent type 2 diabetes in those at high risk, and improve care for people living with diabetes.”
“We understand that prevention is key, and access to care is fundamental, which is why it is the focus of our platform. Prevention of diabetes and its complications can easily be identified by early diagnosis, regular follow-ups and timely management” he added. “To further raise awareness, we have also been working closely with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to organise ‘Learn about diabetes’ events in schools to ensure students with diabetes have access to the care they need. Landmark Group and the Education City are offering prizes for winners of the Virtual Walk Challenge. The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes awareness, signifying the unity of the global diabetes community, and landmark buildings in Qatar will support QDA and WDD by lighting up in blue.”
QDA has marked World Diabetes Day since 1996, focusing on a dedicated theme every year chosen by the International Diabetes Federation. 2021 also marks the centenary of the discovery of insulin, the lifesaving medicine for type 1 diabetes that was discovered by Dr Frederick G Banting and Charles Best, and QDA has created a short video called ‘100 years of insulin discovery: we still need to do more’ to commemorate this occasion.