Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) hosted a series of events during the month of November in recognition of World Diabetes Day (WDD), screening thousands across the country and raising awareness of how to better manage and prevent the disease.
Observed on 14 November, WDD was introduced by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1991 in response to the increase in the incidence of diabetes cases around the world. The global awareness campaign is aimed at increasing understanding of diabetes risk factors, symptoms and prevention.
World Diabetes Day is an important event for as Qatar has a growing number of people who have diabetes and a large percentage of this group does not know they have the disease. It is only through greater public awareness and education that we will ever be able to lessen the burden of this disease,
HMC’s major public outreach and awareness activities were kicked off during the official opening of its annual exhibition gazebo located near the entrance of the Outpatient Department at Hamad General Hospital. Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, the Minister of Public Health, attended the opening ceremony and had her glucose checked during the free diabetes screening. Other HMC activities included a workshop for children and screening events at various hospitals, businesses, schools and colleges. Activities also included a mobile screening unit for non-medical staff at HMC and participation in the 2nd Annual Arab Diabetes Medical Congress.
At Al Wakra Hospital, more than 550 people were screened during an exhibition and public screening event held on 14 and 15 November. Staff from Al Wakra Hospital also held diabetes checkups for patients visiting its outpatient clinics and distributed educational pamphlets on diabetes care and proper nutrition. During a similar event held at Al Khor Hospital on 14 November, over 450 people were screened. HMC’s WDD events concluded this past weekend with a public screening held at Aspire Park.
The theme for this year's WDD was ’eyes on diabetes,’ focusing on preventative eye care and the importance of screenings. Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness in the developed world. Officials with the diabetes care team at HMC say it is important to get annual health screenings as well as eye exams.
“Offering screenings, and getting the public in the habit of being screened, is an important part of raising awareness," added Mrs. Othman.
The National Diabetes Center at Hamad General Hospital was opened in 2013 and receives about 2,000 adult and 700 pediatric patients each month. The National Diabetes Center at Al Wakra Hospital opened in 2014 and receives approximately 400 patient visits each month. Offering a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care, the Centers provide patients with improved access to specialized treatment.
For more information about diabetes, including signs and symptoms as well as tips on eating a balanced diet and incorporating physical activity into your daily routine, visit http://diabetes.hamad.qa.