Posted on November 06, 2014

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) consider diabetes to be the leading healthcare challenge of the 21st century, creating social and economic issues that affect individuals, families and the society as a whole. The growing diabetes burden is particularly challenging for the MENA region and within the GCC where roughly one in five people has diabetes1. IDF figures confirm more than 34.6 million people in the MENA region have diabetes and that diabetes has cost regional governments US$13 billion in 2013 1. Moreover the disease is evolving so rapidly, necessitating a dynamic health care environment and a highly skilled diabetes medical community who could face the growing challenges to control it.

In this scope, and to encourage continued education and awareness among doctors treating diabetes and in line with their common goals of supporting better diabetes care, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), the Gulf Group for the Study of Diabetes (GGSD) and Lilly announced today the renewal of a three year partnership agreement aimed at providing post graduate continued education for doctors treating diabetes across the GCC. Under this partnership agreement, EASD, a world renowned diabetes medical association strong of 8000 members (doctors) from across Europe will work closely with the GGSD to annually develop a post-graduate training course for regional doctors treating diabetes. The programme will be funded by Lilly, as part of its ongoing commitment to diabetes, strong of more than 90 years.

“We are honored to extend our partnership with the GGSD to collectively build on the value that this partnership has been bringing to the region and to our colleagues in the GCC region. Each year, we are collaborating together to bring the most relevant topics and most recent developments in the area of diabetes. We are extremely satisfied with what we have been able to achieve so far and looking forward for additional success in the future” said Dr. Sean Dinneen, Chair of the EASD’s (Extra-European) Postgraduate Education Committee.

Three year Gulf-European partnership 2 [].jpgPresent at the agreement signature announcement on behalf of the GGSD, Dr Abdullah Al Hamaq, President of the Qatar diabetes association, part of the Qatar Foundation, expressed the importance of the private initiatives in complementing national and governments’ efforts to provide the best education to patients and doctors and drive innovative care and solutions for the growing number of people living with diabetes in Qatar and across the GCC. “ Diabetes is an evolving disease that requires the medical community to keep up with the new findings , research outcomes and innovative solutions and therefore the importance of enabling diabetes specialists to connect with their regional and international counterparts on the latest medical information” he added.

The GGSD board comprises representatives from all Gulf Cooperation Countries. The course has already reached more than 300 doctors from across the GCC during the last 3 years and will continue to attract more than 100 doctors annually, selected to attend the postgraduate courses by GGSD.

Huzur Devletsah, managing director for the Middle East region for Lilly, a global pharmaceutical company that introduced the first commercially available insulin in 1923, explained that Lilly’s objective is to establish meaningful partnerships to contribute to better diabetes care in the region. “Lilly is happy to enable this medical education program for the GCC and partner with professional associations dedicated to share medical knowledge from across borders . It is only by joining efforts and resources that we can positively impact the journey of each person with diabetes and slow the progression of this disease and help patients better control it” she said.

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