Severe thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, fatigue, and losing weight for unknown reasons – all of these may indicate that a child has diabetes, but their family may not realise it.
Research conducted by the International Diabetes Federation has revealed that many parents struggle to notice the warning signs of their child’s diabetes, and one in three sets of parents has never recognised them.
Dr Abdullah Al Hamaq, Executive Director of Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA) – a member of Qatar Foundation – said that the number of children diagnosed with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is rising every year. There is evidence that Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents is increasing in some countries. including Qatar, according to studies conducted by paediatric endocrinologists at Hamad Medical Corporation.
These results underscore the need to raise awareness of diabetes in order to help people detect early signs of the condition, so we should urge families to learn more about these signs.’
World Diabetes Day, which takes place on 14 November, is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign, marked by the International Diabetes Federation. More than 200 associations around the world participate, including QDA.
Since 1996, QDA has contributed to the message of World Diabetes Day through events that run throughout November. This year and in 2020, such events will reflect the slogan Family and Diabetes: Protect Your Family.
QDA Program Manager Katie Nahas said that on World Diabetes Day, they are raising public awareness of the disease and how to live with it, by organising a series of awareness events in schools, shopping malls, and many other places in Qatar.
The annual Diabetes Walkathon will be held in Oxygen Park at Education City on Saturday, 15 November. The event will be accompanied by a range of awareness and entertainment activities. Participants can also get a blood sugar test and an assessment to check risk factors for Type 2 diabetes, in kiosks located in the park.’
Global statistics indicate that there are more than one million children and adolescents with diabetes around the world, including about 176,000 in the Middle East and North Africa. Every eight seconds, a person dies from diabetes.
Dr Amal Mustafa, Head of the Education Department at QDA, said that diabetes is becoming increasingly prevalent among children and adolescents, and as with Type 1 diagnoses, children and adolescents diagnosed with Type 2 are experiencing complications in early adulthood, which is a significant burden on family and society.
The role of the family is very important in identifying signs that may indicate their children are diabetic, and this will help them get treatment early before they develop serious complications. After diagnosis, parents must help their children follow a healthy lifestyle so that they can live with diabetes in a healthy way.’