UAE's Comprehensive Diabetes Screening Shows 9% of Population at Risk
The UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) has exceeded its goals in a major campaign aimed at tackling diabetes.
Initially targeting 5,000 residents, the campaign impressively screened over 12,000 individuals in a span of just 100 days, significantly surpassing its original objective.
The result of the campaign uncovered a concerning number of pre-diabetic and diabetic cases.
It revealed that 8.9 per cent of screened individuals were identified as pre-diabetic, signalling an urgent need for preventive measures and lifestyle interventions.
Pre-diabetes is a phase where, if identified early, it can potentially avert the development of full-blown diabetes through changes in lifestyle and medical intervention," stated Dr. Buthaina Bin Belaila, who leads the non-communicable diseases and mental health department at Mohap.
Furthermore, the campaign discovered that 1.7 percent of the screened population had already developed diabetes.
The primary objective of the campaign is to identify and convert pre-diabetic patients to a non diabetic status. “Early detection and intervention for diabetes is crucial in managing and even reversing the progression.
It is a chronic health issue that has become a significant concern globally,” said Dr Omniyat Al Hajri, executive director of the community health sector at Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre.
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Dr Bin Belaila said that it is too early to record the number of reversed cases considering the ongoing campaign.
“It takes about 3 months to record a decrease in HbA1c level. Post that, there are lifestyle modifications that the patient has to undergo.”
She even mentioned that in earlier initiatives, there were many who reversed pre diabetes with proper management.
“In our earlier initiatives, which were not so large as this one, we have recorded many reversed cases of pre-diabetic patients.
They followed healthy lifestyles, reduced stress and [incorporated] healthy eating habits,” said Dr Bin Belaila.
Dr Bin Belaila have also urged people aged 18 and above to get tested for pre-diabetes so that it can be reversed with proper management.
The campaign, which started nearly 3 months ago, screens residents for diabetes and associated risk factors.
In the following six months, the pre-diabetic and diabetic individuals are set to undergo health consultations and follow-ups according to national protocol, with an aim to beat the disease.
In Abu Dhabi alone, over 7,000 residents were screened for diabetes and pre-diabetes since the beginning of the campaign by the Department of Health and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre along with private partners.
“The whole idea of a national campaign is to bring people together for a cause. As a nation, we want more people to be involved in the campaign and beat this silent disease,” said Dr Al Hajri.
After the success of this campaign, officials have decided to extend the campaign to one year and with a new target.
“We will be targeting 100,000 residents to get checked for diabetes and beat it with lifestyle modifications.
We are working on sustaining this initiative to be one of the main pillars of health screening programs in the country,” said Dr Bin Belaila.
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Claiming insurance for test in Dubai
Diabetes screenings will be free for Emirati residents across the UAE.
Residents can walk into any healthcare facility with the necessary equipment and get themselves checked.
Screening centres have been put up at various locations, with two mobile stations are going around the country. “In Dubai, residents can avail insurance to get their diabetes test done.
Most of the insurance covers early screening and detection,” said Dr Hind Al Awadhi, director of Health Promotion and Education at Dubai Health Authority.
“We are doing a lot of activations in the field and virtually to raise awareness on diabetes in private and public offices. We are looking forward to more beneficiaries in this year as well as in the future,” said Dr Al Awadhi.
Celebration of success
The authority also celebrated the success of this campaign with a drone show and fireworks at Ain Dubai.
Take a look at some pictures from the event below:
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