Did you know that one in four births in Qatar is affected by gestational diabetes? Or that two out of every five women with diabetes are of reproductive age? Have you wondered if you might be at risk for diabetes?
In recognition of World Diabetes Day, celebrated annually every 14 November, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has planned a full month of activities to highlight the importance of awareness, education, and research in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is the main source of energy and comes from food intake. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into the cells to be used for energy. Sometimes the body doesn’t make enough—or any—insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells.
Over time, having too much glucose in the blood can cause health problems. Although diabetes has no cure, steps can be taken to manage diabetes and stay healthy.
Offering a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care, HMC has established specialty diabetes clinics across its network of hospitals. The National Diabetes Centre at Hamad General Hospital was opened in 2013 and today receives 2,000 patients each month. The National Diabetes Centre at Al Wakra Hospital opened a year later and cares for around 400 patients each month. The Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic at the Women’s Hospital receives around 600 patients per month.
Last month, HMC officially inaugurated its National Obesity Treatment Centre which ‘co-locates’ clinics previously situated at other facilities in one location, providing a unique multi-disciplinary service that integrates patient care. Located in Building 311 in Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City, the Centre is delivering holistic, multi-disciplinary care for patients in need of medical management, lifestyle modifications, bariatric and endoscopic procedures.
Qatar Diabetes Association
Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA) is at the forefront of research and awareness in the fight against the disease, and provides innovative patient care and diabetes education to various segments of society. It is an active member of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the global advocate for the prevention and cure of diabetes, comprising 230 associations from 170 countries.
QDA holds a number of community outreach programmes throughout the year, including diabetes awareness programmes at schools and workplaces, symposiums, and diabetes prevention camps. QDA’s Al-Bawasil camp for children regularly hosts around 60 children from Qatar and the MENA region to teach them about diabetes and healthy living. QDA also collaborates with healthcare professionals around the country to share knowledge, and stay up-to-date with current research.
In collaboration with the Landmark Group, QDA will hold a number of activities to mark the World Diabetes Day this year. Some of the events taking place include a symposium for doctors, a panel discussion about diabetes with physicians from police and army clinics, and a walkathon at the Oxygen Park in Education City on 17 November 17.
World Diabetes Day Events in Qatar
Beat Diabetes Walk: A Landmark Group initiative to increase awareness about diabetes and help more people lead healthy lives, in collaboration with the Qatar Diabetes Association.
Two-Day Patient-Focused Activities at Sidra Medicine: Sidra Medicine will mark World Diabetes Day with patient-focused activities designed to educate and empower the community.
From 8 am to 3 pm on Tuesday, 14 November, families visiting the Outpatient Clinic at Sidra Medicine can take part in a variety of fun and educational activities to learn more about diabetes. Specialist doctors and nurses will be on hand to answer questions and provide advice on managing the condition in children.
On Wednesday, 15 November, an educational session will address the importance of early screening for gestational diabetes which develops during pregnancy and how to manage the condition during pregnancy. The talk will focus on advice and guidance for women at risk or already diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Visit the Sidra Medicine website for more information about their programme on Diabetes. You can also visit the HMC website to find out more about their Diabetes awareness campaign and their free diabetes screening.