Posted on June 21, 2016

In recognition of the challenges and risks facing diabetes patients who choose to fast during the Holy Month, Action on Diabetes (AoD) – the leading public-private partnership initiated and supported by Maersk Oil Qatar to tackle diabetes – and the Qatar Metabolic Institute (QMI) at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), are collaborating to run a series of screening and educational events at mosques during Ramadan to support the community in managing the condition.

Successful screenings have already been held during the first Friday of Ramadan at Al Saad mosque in Al Mamoura and Omar Bin Al Kattab mosque, with more than 1,000 worshippers tested so far by medical professionals from HMC. Members of the public are invited to attend forthcoming screenings at Al Emadi mosque this Friday, and at Alwakra Al Ghani mosque the following Friday. Professor Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra,Chairman of Internal Medicine at Hamad Medical Corporation and Co-Chair of the National Diabetes Committee, said: 

“AoD’s success in educating the public about diabetes highlights the value of public-private partnerships in tackling major health challenges. During the Holy Month, attendance for prayers at mosques increases. This is an opportune time for us to screen large numbers of the local community for diabetes. It is also an ideal time to help people understand the risk factors for type 2 diabetes and other lifestyle diseases. Large-scale screening events are an important mechanism for increasing awareness while also providing advice on managing the disease.”

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Professor Abou-Samra, who is also Chair of the Qatar Metabolic Institute, said the success of these screening events is evidence of the contribution that such collaborations are making toward putting the National Diabetes Strategy into practice. All screenings are conducted by nurses and professionals trained in diabetes care. Participants are given a personalised analysis of results, advice on how to manage their condition and medication effectively and how to fast safely during Ramadan. Educational information is also being distributed in five languages to provide people with vital information on the importance of early detection and tips on living a healthy lifestyle.

This is the now the third year that AoD and HMC has teamed up during Ramadan to offer screening during Friday prayers at a number of the country’s busiest mosques. Such activities build on the success of similar community events organised by AoD since the partnership began in 2011. To date, over 35,000 people have been screened and supported in managing and preventing diabetes. Sheikh Faisal Bin Fahed Al-Thani, Deputy Managing Director, Maersk Oil Qatar, said: “We are wholly committed to ensuring the successful implementation of the National Diabetes Strategy through programmes that support awareness, prevention and empowerment and we’re very proud that our AoD partnership continues to play a leading role in reducing the trajectory of diabetes in the country.”

Herluf Nis Thomsen, AoD Programme Manager from Novo Nordisk, said: “AoD has achieved notable success in building awareness and understanding of the factors that increase the risk of developing diabetes. The Holy Month of Ramadan is a challenging time for those living with the condition, so we’re delighted at the levels of engagement we’ve seen during this campaign and look forward to increasing the numbers of people we can support during the rest of Ramadan.”