Her Excellency Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, the Minister of Public Health, visited a diabetes screening stand at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Hamad General Hospital recently, raising awareness about both the high prevalence of diabetes in Qatar and the importance of early detection.
In recognition of World Diabetes Day, observed globally on 14 November each year, the Ministry of Public Health, HMC and the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) will hold a series of information sessions, free screenings and health checks, and other community-based activities aimed at educating the public about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of type 2 diabetes.
HE Dr Al Kuwari said:
World Diabetes Day is a time when our collective attention is turned to the growing problem of diabetes. Diabetes is a serious condition which has many consequences if left untreated, including complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputations. It is important that we educate ourselves as individuals and take control of our own health.’
Her Excellency commended the efforts of the Ministry of Public Health, HMC and the PHCC in promoting the importance of screening and early diagnosis, stating that screening and education go hand in hand. She added that fully integrated care pathways are essential to meeting the growing need for diabetes care in Qatar.
HE Dr Al Kuwari added:
We must continue to prioritise prevention, early diagnosis and effective treatment. Diabetes screenings are important but they are only part of the puzzle. Successful self-management depends on empowering patients. We must provide our patients with the information and education they need to make appropriate decisions about their own health. This includes helping the public understand their role in preventing type 2 diabetes and other lifestyle diseases. It also means ensuring newly diagnosed diabetics find pathways to proper care.’
Professor Abdul Badi Abou Samra, Chairman of Internal Medicine at HMC, stressed the importance of education, stating that it is the cornerstone of both diabetes management and prevention. He added that a large number of type 2 diabetes cases are preventable.
Professor Abou Samra said:
Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. Maintaining a normal body weight, engaging in regular physical activity and eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The first steps in prevention are getting tested and understanding one’s risk of type 2 diabetes.’
The screening at Hamad General Hospital is part of a month-long schedule of activities aimed at raising awareness of diabetes and the importance of preventative measures such as eating a healthy diet and exercising.
For a complete list of HMC’s World Diabetes Day events, and more information about the signs and symptoms of diabetes, visit diabetes.hamad.qa.