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Activities galore to raise diabetes awareness



MINISTRY of Public Health (MoPH) in coordination with its partners Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), Ministry of Interior (MoI) and Action on Diabetes will hold a series of activities for a week to raise awareness on diabetes.

To be held as part of the GCC Health Week, the activities would include screening, walkathon and education on diabetes, among others.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, MoPH Director of Health Protection and Non-communicable Diseases Sheikha Dr Al Anoud bint Mohamed al Thani said that all the organisations have joined hands to generate awareness on healthy food and how to maintain the right weight. She pointed out that obesity has become a global pandemic.

Sheikha al Anoud noted that a 2014 study revealed that nine percent of people are affected by diabetes globally, while its prevalence in Qatar is 17 percent.

"The MoPH began a process with its 2016-22 strategy a seven-year strategy aiming to lower the diabetes related mortality. And in last five years, the prevalence of diabetes has remained the same in Qatar. This suggests that efforts to raise awareness are bearing fruits. But, we want to lower it further," she added.

HMC official Manal Musallam said that they are raising awareness and informing people on the significance of early detection. They are offering diabetes related pamphlets in hospitals. The HMC is also focusing on generating diabetes awareness among people."From next week, we will hold workshops for school nurses on how to manage students with diabetes in schools."

According to Musallam, campaigns are giving positive results."We conduct campaigns in malls and beaches among other public places. On Fridays, we engage Muslim leaders in mosques."

Another speaker, PHCC official Afrah Musa, said that they will cover 21 schools in Qatar targeting children from 5 to 18 years."This is a critical age group when some children develop wrong food habits and may suffer from obesity. We are working with schools in growth monitoring indicator and when we get the results we develop the programme tailored as per the requirement. We have booths and stations to create awareness and for BMI check-up. There will be workshops and diabetes screening, along with TV shows attended by Qatari physicians. Also, school nurses would be trained on how to deal with students with diabetes."

MoI Endocrinologist at the Medical Service Department and Head of Diabetic Clinic Dr Haidar Bustanji said they would have four pillars as part of their activities; namely screening, education, preventive measures and walkathon. The walkathon will take place near The Torch at 5am on Thursday. People will walk for 5km, he said."It is necessary to detect cases. Early detection and early intervention are important. The second pillar is about raising awareness by handing pamphlets. There will be nutritionists and public booths at malls to assist people."

Furthermore, lectures would be held for medical staff, nurses and for those who deal with patients. It would be held on May 4 (from 6.30am to 7.30am) and open for the public.


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