ICLDC’s diabetes screening booth moves to Dubai
Reported December 21, 2007
Abu Dhabi’s ICLDC, in partnership with the Emirates Foundation, has joined hands with HSBC Middle East and the Ministry of Health to launch second phase of the ‘I WONDER..’ campaign in Dubai. H E Dr Mariam Matar, Assistant Undersecretary, Public Health and Primary Health Care, Ministry of Heath and Chairperson of the National Diabetes Committee endorsed the initiative.
She said that specialist teams from the Centre and Emirates Foundation will show the Dubai public why it is important to be aware of risk factors relating to diabetes.
Visitors to the ‘I WONDER ’ booth at the Mall of the Emirates can take a simple blood test to check if they have diabetes or are showing signs of pre-diabetes.
Peter Cleaves, CEO, Emirates Foundation said: ‘Diabetes is a silent disease that could hit any one of us! Yet, many of us do not know what diabetes is, how it affects our lives or how we can prevent or reverse it.
‘I WONDER ’ is geared to equip visitors with the knowledge and tools to prevent diabetes through the provision of accurate, up-to-date information and a quick, level one blood screening.’
Meanwhile, HSBC Middle East is the exclusive sponsor of this phase of campaign in Dubai. HSBC’s Head of Regional Communications Kaltham Al Koheji said : ‘HSBC, through ‘I WONDER ’ is ready to help raise diabetes awareness among the Dubai public.
‘As a responsible corporate, we are closely involved in the communities in which we operate and feel that it is our duty to support such national drives designed to benefit the society at large. With the UAE said to have the world’s second highest number of diabetes cases, we are right behind this initiative.’
She further stressed that diabetes brings with it several life-threatening complications, if not diagnosed early and properly treated: ‘We have learned that the complications associated with diabetes can be prevented if detected early and HSBC’s support of ‘I WONDER ’ is to help further drive this hard-hitting message home to the people of the UAE – act now and kick diabetes, for a healthier, longer life.’
Dr Maha Taysir Barakat, Endocrinologist and Medical & Research Director at the Centre confirmed that once early signs of diabetes are detected it is relatively easy to prevent the onset of the full-blown disease.
In support, Dr Matar too stressed the importance of lifestyle changes and the early detection advocated by ICLDC.
‘The UAE healthcare authorities are exerting great effort in combating diabetes through prevention, early diagnosis and proper treatment. The National Diabetes Committee has been recently formed and has started to work hard on putting strategic plans in place to deal with this major health problem.
‘We support healthy, active lifestyles and periodic health check-ups. The ‘I WONDER ’ outreach screening booth is an excellent step in this direction,’ she said.
Launched in February 2007, by ICLDC, with Emirates Foundation and under the auspices of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Al Nahyan, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Welfare Foundation and Chairperson of the General Women’s Union, the objective of the umbrella campaign, ‘DIABETES. KNOWLEDGE. ACTION.’, is to ensure that diabetes in the UAE does not have the opportunity to further weaken the health of the community.
The UAE has the world’s second highest number of diabetes cases, with one in five people aged between 20 to 79 already living with the disease. Meanwhile, research suggests that a similar percentage of the population is at risk of developing it.
Dr Maha said that by maintaining a healthy lifestyle not only can diabetes be managed, but it is possible to prevent it.
‘The good news is that 80% per cent of type 2 diabetes is preventable simply by introducing a healthier diet and increasing physical activity,’ she concluded.