(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Fazeena Saleem | The Peninsula
DOHA: In a new initiative to contain high prevalence of diabetes, a comprehensive nationwide campaign has been launched by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).
The two-year campaign aims to raise awareness among the community about diabetes prevention, controlling the disease and getting required access to healthcare services, said officials while addressing a press conference held at the MoPH yesterday.
The Ministry will implement the campaign in four phases in collaboration with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and the Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA). It will spread the awareness message using multiple channels.
'The campaign has been launched to overcome challenges posed by diabetes as a major health issue Qatar is facing. Prevalence of diabetes in Qatar is 17 percent which is double to the world average. If not treated well, it affects patients, their families and the community at large. It is compulsory to take effective steps to combat the disease at the preventive and therapeutic level, said Dr Kholoud Al Mutawa, Chair of Awareness and Patient Empowerment Sub-Committee for the National Diabetes Strategy and Head of Non-Communicable Diseases Section at MoPH.
The first phase of the campaign, will continue until December with an aim to create awareness among the community about three types of diabetes namely Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes.
'As with most affluent countries around the world, Qatar has seen an increase in the number of children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Once considered an illness only among adults, there has been a dramatic rise in the incidence of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents during the past decade, said Dr Abdulla Al Hamaq, Executive Director, Qatar Diabetes Association.
The second phase of the campaign will be launched in the first quarter of the next year with a focus on the symptoms, risk factors, and the importance of early detection. The phase three is scheduled to be launched in the fourth quarter of the next year, and will call on the public to take the lead in conducting a comprehensive diabetes screening and early detection. The fourth phase of the campaign, will be launched in the first quarter of 2020, focusing on continuing the achievements of the three previous stages to prevent the disease for non-diabetics and to follow healthy lifestyles.
PHCC plays a prominent role in screening and early detection of diabetes. 'The Smart Clinic for diabetes has screened 4,496 people in 2017. Among them, 13% had diabetes and 21% were pre-diabetic, said Dr Samiya Al Abdulla, Executive Director of Operation Department in the PHCC.