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Health body maps out plan to combat diabetes

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will reach out to people suffering from diabetes in the emirate through an innovative “diabetes conversation map,” it announced on Sunday. 

Health officials said that the map, designed by Lilly Company, has details of what to eat, symptoms of diabetes, what to do in terms of hypoglycaemia and other relevant information, presented in an illustrative and graphical form.

Dr Ahmed Kalban, CEO of Primary Healthcare at the DHA, said, “It’s imperative for primary healthcare physicians to reach out to the community and educate them through regular, sustained diabetes awareness campaigns, especially on lifestyle diseases.”

“The campaign is unique because of its approach on tackling the alarming rate of diabetes in the UAE, which is estimated to have affected about 18.75 per cent of the population,” he added. 

Dr Nahed Monsef, director of Health Affairs Section at the DHA elaborated that the programme will reach out to various organisations to educate diabetic patients in group sessions about how to manage their condition.

“The DHA also will use this map and instead of providing health education lectures, the map will ensure patient participation for better outcomes to encourage patients to make right choices and prevent further complications of the disease,” Dr Monsef  pointed out. 

“The programme will involve participation of diabetic educators, dieticians, doctors and nurses,” said Dr Hanan Obaid, head of the Community Health Services Programmes Section at the DHA.

“We will also provide a health educator and they will conduct these group sessions. This form of group therapy is beneficial for patients as they can share their experience in an innovative environment,” she added. 

Seema Al Marzouqi, nurse at the Community Health Service Section at the DHA, explained, “Through such community awareness initiatives, the authority aims to educate the population and reach out to them because such diseases are mainly related to lifestyle issues which can be modified to prevent further health complications.”

Noor Gubair, from Lilly Company, provided the training on the usage of this map to the DHA primary healthcare members. “Such kind of corporate social responsibility programmes are a part of our endeavour to reach out to the society and we are pleased to have partnered with the DHA,” Gubair said.

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