Posted on November 24, 2014

Qatari Diar, one of Qatar’s most trusted and respected real estate companies, showcased its commitment to tackling diabetes by hosting a purpose-built ‘Action on Diabetes’ screening bus at its headquarters in Lusail City. Over the course of three days,400 Qatari Diar employees were tested for diabetes from the convenience of their workplace.

Launched earlier this year, the workplace screening campaign aims to benefit companies and business owners who are keen to ensure the well-being of their staff members.All those screened received a personalised analysis of their results, as well as specific recommendations on how to reduce the risk of developing diabetes in the future. The ‘Action on Diabetes’ bespoke screening bus was positioned outside Qatari Diar’s offices from 16 to 18 November, with experts from Hamad Medical Corporation and Qatar Diabetes Association on board to check visitors blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index (BMI). The results were carefully analysed during one-on-one consultation sessions with diabetes educators, who gave patients valuable advice on lifestyle changes that could help them lower their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The bus, which is funded by Maersk Oil Qatar,has recently been used at a successful World Diabetes Day event held in Katara on 14 and 15 November, during which 650 people were screened. The bespoke vehicle is the only one of its kind in Qatar and is fitted with a range of testing equipment to facilitate the analysis of random blood glucose, HBA1C, cholesterol, BMI, and blood pressure.

Alanoud Taleb Al-Henzab, Corporate Social Investment at Qatari Diar, said: “We are very pleased that over the last three days, the Action on Diabetes team has successfully screened hundreds of Qatari Diar employees. The Action on Diabetes campaign has increased our awareness of the condition and encouraged many of our staff members to get tested. We are committed to helping our employees improve their overall health, and the insight and analysis gained from the healthcare specialists will undoubtedly help us improve our workplace healthcare scheme. This visit was a great success and we look forward to working with Action on Diabetes again in the future.”

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Diabetes is one of Qatar’s most prevalent health challenges. According to a recent Qatar STEP wise report, the proportion of people with diabetes in Qatar is among the highest in the world – 16.7 percent of Qataris have the condition. In addition, the International Diabetes Federation predicts that 25 percent of all Qataris will have diabetes by 2030, if the issue is not tackled and necessary lifestyle changes are not adopted. The screening programme at Qatari Diar revealed that most employees have normal results in terms of their blood glucose, blood pressure, and lipid profile. However, in some cases there was a moderate risk of developing diabetes, since risk factors such as lack of physical activity, excess weight, obesity, and unhealthy eating habits, were identified.

Dr Badria Al-Malki, Public Health Specialist at the Supreme Council of Health, said: “Early detection is vital to allow diabetes to be properly managed and complications prevented, so it is great to see the workplace screening campaign run by Action on Diabetes and its partners being so successful. Diabetes is one of Qatar’s biggest health challenges but Type 2 diabetes is preventable if risk factors are identified and lifestyles changed. Our hope is that everyone who has been tested at Qatari Diar over the past three days came away with more knowledge on diabetes as well as vital information on risk factors, prevention and management of diabetes in Qatar.” 

Herluf Nis Thomsen, Novo Nordisk, Senior Project Manager at Action on Diabetes, said: “It’s great to have the support of Qatari Diar for our workplace screening campaign, and I would like to commend all it has done to encourage healthy living among its staff. Clearly this campaign benefits the individual being tested, but it also provides a great opportunity for participating employers to learn more about the health of their employees and develop new, effective programmes that support their well-being.”

So far in 2014, hundreds of people have been tested for diabetes as part of the workplace screening programme that encourages employees to get screened for diabetes. The Action on Diabetes screening bus has visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qatar Petroleum, the Supreme Council of Health, Maersk Oil Qatar, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Al Rayyan TV headquarters, Barwa Towers and now Qatari Diar, with a visit planned next week to the Supreme Committee offices,in addition to other organisations across Qatar before the end of the year.