Posted on September 25, 2016

The Qatar Metabolic Institute (QMI), a unique partnership between leading education, research and clinical institutions in Qatar, has become an increasingly influential catalyst for a range of advances in the management of diabetes since its formation.

Diabetes is one of the most pressing health challenges in the world today and Qatar, along with other GCC countries, has some of the highest incidence rates globally. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 17 percent of the Adult Qatari population currently suffers from diabetes. The QMI combines research, education and high quality care with the aim of not only delivering the best possible treatment for diabetic patients but also preventing many people developing the disease in the first place.

The QMI was established under Qatar’s Academic Health System with the aim of providing a central focus for metabolic diseases in Qatar. The QMI partnership includes Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Weill Cornell Medical College (WCM-Q), Qatar University (QU), University of Calgary (UCQ), College of North Atlantic (CAN-Q), Sidra Medical and Research Center, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), and the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC).

“In order to reverse the rising rates of diabetes in Qatar’s population it is vital that we have a comprehensive integrated approach to diabetes management,” said Professor Abdul Badi Abou Samra, QMI Director, Chairman of Internal Medicine at HMC and Co-Chair of the National Diabetes Strategy 2016 – 2022. “One of the key objectives of the QMI is to support the implementation of the Qatar National Diabetes Strategy, which includes raising patient and public awareness of diabetes, empowering patients to improve their health, supporting healthcare professionals to deliver new models of care, and ensuring that all this work is informed by the highest quality information and research evidence,” explained Prof. Abou Samra. 

The QMI was officially launched on 1 May, 2016 by Her Excellency, Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health, though the institute had been in the early stages of operation prior to the announcement. A commitment to research is a core element of the QMI, as Prof. Abou Samra explained: “The institute brings together leading research intuitions in Qatar with one sole focus – to undertake high quality research so that we can better understand the causes of metabolic diseases enabling us to support the development of new and better treatments for patients with diabetes, obesity and other metabolic conditions.”

In a relatively short space of time since its formation, the QMI has contributed to a range of improvements in care for people with diabetes. The QMI has supported the growth of the National Diabetes Centers at Hamad General Hospital and Al Wakra Hospital. These centers use a multi-disciplinary approach in caring for patients and provide a range of diabetes services in one location, including foot care, counseling and education, blood investigation and insulin pump therapy.

The QMI has also helped develop patient pathways across HMC for diabetes and obesity management. The pathways ensure each patient’s journey of care is a seamless and beneficial as possible.