To mark World Diabetes Day 2017, Sasol, the international integrated chemicals and energy company, and Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), have launched a Diabetes Education Room to raise awareness and improve outcomes in managing childhood diabetes.

Members of Qatar Diabetes Association and Sasol at the launch of the Diabetes Education Room designed to raise awareness and improve outcomes in managing childhood diabetes

The Diabetes Education Room was inaugurated in the presence of Phinda Vilakazi, President of GTL Ventures, Sasol and Dr Abdulla Al Hamaq, Executive Director, QDA. Situated at the QDA premises at Rawdat Al Khail (Al Muntazah) the Education Room features two sections: a meeting room for parents to receive guidance from diabetes educators on health education, lifestyle, and diet changes, and a children’s play area that houses the Health Park Board Game, which was specially developed by Sasol and QDA in 2016.

Diabetes prevalence in Qatar is among the highest in the world, with 20% of the population either living with diabetes or at risk of diabetes. Children make up around 1,200 of the 239,000 estimated cases of diabetes (International Diabetes Federation Atlas 2015), and have an acute need for education on lifestyle and health options to bring the disease under control.

Phinda Vilakazi commented:

Sasol recognises the threat diabetes poses to the health of the family and community in Qatar. This threat is especially acute in children, and we must all do our part to make a difference. The opening of this Education Room is part of Sasol’s commitment to Qatar National Vision 2030, and to building a healthier community by raising awareness about management and risk of diabetes.

Part of a joint effort to address diabetes, Sasol and QDA created and launched plush characters named Salem and Sarah in 2014, which were designed to reduce the fear and apprehension often associated with diabetes in young children, while the Health Park Board Game was launched to test the knowledge of children with diabetes and their families on food groups, healthy eating, and the dos and don’ts of healthy behavior of people with Type 1 diabetes.

Salem and Sarah plush toys and The Health Park Board Game are distributed free of charge by QDA to all children with diabetes.