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Educate patients to tackle diabetes, say experts.

With the UAE ranked 16th worldwide for Type 2 diabetes, 37 million in the Mena region are classed as diabetic.

Dubai -- "I remember the case of a 21-year-old Kenyan boy who had to have his leg amputated because of diabetes," CEO of Arabian Healthcare Group, Dr Raza Siddqui told a packed room on Wednesday.

"But with the right care and treatment, this situation could have easily been prevented," he added.

During a press conference announcing the group's plans to set up a chain of specialty diabetes centres across the UAE, including a new centre in Dubai, Dr Siddqui brought to light the importance of patient education and awareness when it comes to tackling the rising number of diabetes diagnoses in the region.

"Nineteen per cent of the population in this country is living with diabetes and 10 per cent aren't aware that they are diabetic. With these specialty care centres, our vision is to become the leading healthcare institution in diabetic care," he said.

With the UAE ranked 16th worldwide for Type 2 diabetes, 37 million in the Mena region are classed as diabetic. In 2014 alone, more than 803,000 people were diagnosed with the disease in the UAE.

Chief Wellness Officer for AHG, Prof Adrian Kennedy also noted that for the first time since 2000, children are now less healthy than adults.

"Type 2 diabetes is an acquired condition. It is acquired by lifestyle choices. Bad eating habits and inactive lifestyles are very much to blame."

By the end of 2020, AHG aims to open a chain of world-class Comprehensive Speciality Diabetic Care 'RAK Diabetes Centres' across the UAE in each of the seven Emirates.

The first phase will witness the launch of two Diabetes Centres in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, with the Dubai centre due to open in the coming weeks, located near the Kids First Medical Centre near the Al Wasl and Umm Suqueim Road intersection.

These premium stand-alone Specialty Centres will be the one-stop shop for diabetes prevention, care and management and each centre will have a multidisciplinary team on hand including Cardiologists, Ophthalmologists, Nephrologists, Endocrinologists, Diabetes Educator, Dietician, Obesity Management and Podiatrist.

Speaking to Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the event, Specialist Endocrinologist, Dr Hala Youssef Hamdy said last year alone she has seen the number of people being diagnosed with the condition drop.

"This is due to increased awareness. People tell other people about the condition and it becomes a chain reaction. The more people are aware, the more action they will take to prevent diagnosis."

And diabetes educator, Feruza Gafarove, who will be based at the new RAK Diabetes Centre in Dubai, agreed.

"Ten years ago the UAE was ranked number two in the world when it came to people living with diabetes. Today it is ranked 16th which shows we are improving, but it is still an epidemic here so specialty centres like this are bound to see numbers drop even more."

Treating those with diabetes as well as screening those in pre-diabetic stage, these centres will provide 360 degree care for patients and aim to tackle the current number of undiagnosed cases in the country, which stands at 300,000 people.


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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Apr 8, 2015
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