Posted on November 12, 2017

Offering a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care, Hamad Medical Corporations (HMC) has established specialty diabetes clinics across its network of hospitals. The National Diabetes Center at Hamad General Hospital was opened in 2013 and today receives 2,000 patients each month. The National Diabetes Center at Al Wakra Hospital opened a year later and cares for around 400 patients each month and the Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic at Women’s Hospital receives around 600 patients per month.

“These facilities serve as one-stop shops in which patients can speak with specialist doctors, renew prescriptions and learn self-care skills related to blood glucose monitoring, healthy eating, and physical activity,” said Professor Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra, Chairman of Internal Medicine at HMC and Director of the Qatar Metabolic Institute (QMI). He went on to say that HMC looks beyond the care provided in the hospital setting and is working to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle as a strategy for disease prevention.

“Diabetes is a complex disease which can lead to debilitating long-term complications. Education is an essential element of the diabetes care plan at HMC. Education empowers not only patients but also members of the public to make the behavioral changes needed to protect their health. We work with patients with diabetes to help them understand the importance of controlling their blood glucose levels; and we work with patients who have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, or who are at risk for diabetes, to help them understand the significance of making the lifestyle and behavioral changes needed to reduce their chance of developing the condition,” added Professor Abou-Samra. 

Pre-diabetes happens when one’s blood glucose level (blood sugar level) is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. It is effectively a warning sign and an indication that an individual could develop Type 2 diabetes. Research studies have found that moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes among those at high risk of developing the disease. “Although our genes may influence the development of Type 2 diabetes, behavioral and lifestyle factors play a large role. Our lifestyle choices, specifically our nutrition and exercise habits, are a major factor in determining health status. Data from several international clinical trials support that Type 2 diabetes is preventable. Weight loss, dietary changes, and increased exercise can dramatically lower one’s chance of developing the disease,” said Professor Abou-Samra. 

Last month HMC officially inaugurated its National Obesity Treatment Center. The new center co-locates clinics previously situated at other facilities in one location, providing a unique multi-disciplinary service that integrates patient care. Located in Building 311 in Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City, the Center is delivering holistic, multi-disciplinary care for patients in need of medical management, lifestyle modifications, bariatric and endoscopic procedures.

In recognition of World Diabetes Day, held annually on 14 November, HMC has planned a full month of activities to highlight the importance of diabetes awareness, education, and research. Find out more about HMC’s diabetes awareness campaign and learn how to access a free diabetes screening in Qatar by visiting hamad.qa.

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