Posted on February 16, 2020

The Diabetes Leadership Forum 2020 held under the patronage of Prime Minister and Minister of Interior His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al Thani recently, saw the launch of the National Agenda for Diabetes Research and Cardiovascular Risk Factors.

The national agenda was recently added to the strategy with focus on the importance of systematic diabetes research in order to tackle the burden of the disease in the coming decades. The forum was held in the presence of the Minister of Public Health Her Excellency Dr Hanan Mohammed al Kuwari, a number of their excellencies ministers, senior experts, academics as well as healthcare professionals from Qatar, region and around the world. The forum, which was organised for the second time, also reviewed the progress made since the launch of Qatar’s National Diabetes Strategy 2016-2022 and the action plan for the next two years.

Describing diabetes as a major health challenge, Dr Kuwari said: “The Ministry of Public Health and its partners are working closely through the National Diabetes Strategy to better address and manage the burden of the disease by creating a clear framework for the development of the necessary capacities and tools. The National Diabetes Research Agenda sets the appropriate scientific research priorities for Qatar in terms of environmental, cultural and social aspects to help identify the most effective methods of prevention and treatment.”

The forum was organised by MoPH, in collaboration with Qatar Metabolic Institute (QMI), which focuses on diabetes, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA). It included a number of speakers from Australia, the United Kingdom, Oman and Kuwait, who shared their experiences regarding diabetes strategy, in addition to panel sessions that highlighted the role of collaborative efforts of different sectors and community leaders in preventing diabetes.

In his opening speech, Sheikh Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al Thani, director of the Public Health Department at the ministry, said: “We are proud of the progress made in implementing the National Diabetes Strategy so far, and we look forward to addressing this problem and its serious repercussions.”

Professor Abdul-Badi Abou Samra, co-chair of the National Diabetes Committee and director of Qatar Metabolic Institute at HMC, stated, “The responsibility for treating diabetes lies with health care institutions. As for the prevention of diabetes, it requires collaborative efforts of government entities representing different sectors, including education, environment, transportation, planning, economics, etc. The wide participation of different groups of society is a cornerstone for the success of the prevention programme in Qatar.”

Dr Khuloud al Mutawa, head of the Department of Non-Communicable Diseases at the ministry and member of the National Diabetes Committee, lauded the significant progress in achieving the goals of the National Diabetes Strategy through awareness and prevention campaigns and initiatives related to tests. She said: “Today, Qatari families are more familiar with diabetes and its risk factors and are better able to protect themselves, and this is just the beginning of a long journey.”

source: Qatar Tribune