Posted on November 17, 2014

To celebrate World Diabetes Day in Qatar this weekend, Action on Diabetes hosted its fourth annual Diabetes Screening Awareness Village at Katara, testing 650 people for diabetes over two days.

The Action on Diabetes screening bus, funded by Maersk Oil Qatar, is the only one of its kind in Qatar and is fitted with a range of testing equipment to allow analysis of random blood glucose, HBA1C, cholesterol, BMI and blood pressure. It was positioned in Katara on the 14th and 15th November, with staff from Hamad Medical Corporation and Qatar Diabetes Association on board to test visitors for Diabetes and give one-on-one consultations. All those that were screened received a personalised analysis of results, as well as recommendations on how to reduce the risk of developing diabetes in the future.

Diabetes is one of Qatar’s biggest health challenges. The proportion of people with Diabetes in Qatar is among the highest in the world, with 16.7% of Qataris having the condition according to a recent Qatar STEPwise report. In addition, the International Diabetes Federation predicted that 25% of all Qataris will have Diabetes by 2030 if the diabetes challenge is not addressed and lifestyles not modified.

Qatar celebrates World Diabetes 2 [].jpgIn addition to the screening bus, visitors to the World Diabetes Day awareness event at Katara Cultural Village this weekend had access to specialist Diabetes Educators for consultation and advice, and could learn how to prepare healthy meals by watching live cooking demonstrations by professional chef. There was also a series of mini-workshops run for children to teach them about a healthy active lifestyle in a fun, engaging way.

The World Diabetes Day screening campaign was just one of many research, education, awareness and screening programmes led by Action on Diabetes to combat the spread of the condition. So far in 2014, thousands of people have been tested for diabetes as part of the workplace screening programme that allows employees to be tested for diabetes where they work. In addition, 9,000 people were tested in the week leading up to Ramadan at specially designed screening stations at Al Meera branches in Doha.

Qatar celebrates World Diabetes 3 [].jpgHerluf Nis Thomsen, Senior Project Manager at Action on Diabetes, said: “Early detection is vital to allow diabetes to be properly managed and complications prevented, so I am really pleased with the success of our screening initiatives that took place this year with the support of our strategic partners. Diabetes is preventable if risk factors are identified and lifestyles changed, and as we celebrate the healthy living theme of World Diabetes Day 2014, I would encourage everybody to eat healthily, move more, stop smoking and get screened. With one in five people in Qatar now living with diabetes, it is already firmly established as one of the biggest health threats in

Qatar and unless we all continue to address it and help people modify lifestyles, it will continue to prevail. As we work together to fight the spread of this condition, I hope that everyone who has been tested this weekend came away with more knowledge on diabetes as well as information on risk factors, prevention and management of diabetes in Qatar.”