Posted on November 10, 2014

In recognition of World Diabetes Day, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) will host a series of events during November to increase awareness of diabetes risk factors, symptoms and prevention. Created in 1991, and led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), World Diabetes Day is celebrated on 14 November each year to engage millions of people in diabetes advocacy and awareness.

“Diabetes affects many people in Qatar. Through HMC’s public awareness campaign, and the events we are holding in association with World Diabetes Day, we aim to increase public awareness of diabetes risk factors, symptoms and prevention. Our fundamental goal is helping the public identify their risks and encouraging the adoption of a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr. Mahmoud Zirie (pictured), Senior Consultant and Head of HMC’s Endocrinology, Diabetes Division. He added that exercise and diet are important elements in managing the disease, as well as preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes.

As part of its World Diabetes Day celebrations, HMC is holding a number of public screenings. These started on 2 November and will last throughout the month. On Thursday 13 November, HMC will participate in a three-day exhibition at Katara Village with Action on Diabetes. The event in Katara will include free testing, diabetes education and dietary counselling by HMC healthcare professionals. HMC will also host a series of information sessions at local elementary and secondary schools where nurses and cafeteria supervisory staff will be taught how to manage diabetes in the school environment. The Corporation will also host public screenings at local malls every Friday and Saturday during the month of November. An exhibition is also planned for 20 and 21 November at Sealine Beach Resort in Mesaieed.

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Other planned events include a symposium for clinicians as well as education and screening events at both Al Wakra and Al Khor Hospitals. A full listing of HMC-organized events is available at http://diabetes.hamad.qa. Earlier this year, HMC launched an awareness campaign designed to increase public understanding of diabetes and to empower residents to take control over their health. Running in three phases, the campaign focused on risk factors in the first phase and is currently shedding light on diabetes symptoms.

The third phase of the campaign which will start in February 2015, will focus on healthy living and prevention. The campaign will provide strategies to manage and prevent diabetes and other lifestyle-related conditions. “With recent statistics suggesting that over seventy percent of the population is overweight, raising community awareness of healthy lifestyle practices is a vital strategy for reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes in Qatar,” noted Dr. Zirie.

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