Posted on May 10, 2016

Eight (8) students from Qatar University (QU) medical, human nutrition and biomedical sciences programs collaborated to develop jointly a proposal with the aim to propose ways to halt the rise of diabetes in the state of Qatar. The students -- Omar Sherif Moustafa, Shahrier Rafiq, Menatalla Abdelkader, Soubiya Ansari and Bassant Hussein Okab from CMED, and Tamara Mirza, Asma Jamil and Tayyiba Akbara Alshrif from CHS -- presented their project to a panel of judges at the “Beat Diabetes” event which was organized earlier this month in recognition of World Health Organization’s “World Health Day”.

The students’ proposal approached the problem of diabetes from 3 important angles -- nutrition, lifestyle and medicine -- using a range of tools to help halt the rapid rise of type 2 diabetes in Qatar, including public awareness, legislation, retail policies, school policies, among many others. The judging panel included from the College of Medicine Prof Marwan Abu Hijleh, head of Basic Medical Sciences Department, and Prof Ala-Eddin Al Moustafa. From the College of Health Sciences panelists included Dr Hiba Bawadi, associate professor of nutrition, and Dr Nasser Rizk, professor of physiology and endocrinology.

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In his remarks, Prof Abu Hejleh said: “This activity is an example of the type of interdisciplinary and inter-professional work that the recently established health cluster at Qatar University facilitates. I was impressed by the presentations of both groups of students as well as their intelligent interaction with the panel’s feedback, questions and comments. Diabetes is a major public health concern in Qatar with over 239,000 reported cases in 2015. 415 million people have diabetes in the world and more than 35.4 million people in the MENA region. According to the International Diabetes Federation, by 2040 this figure will rise to 72.1 million. This is why it is important that all nations engage in a productive dialogue with schools, legislators and health policy organizations to address this threat including the participation of higher education institutions like Qatar University.”

Student Tayyiba Akbara Alshrif said: “We had the opportunity to interact with experts in the field and to collaborate with students from other healthcare programs which contributed to reinforcing our knowledge and skills. This showcases the newly-established health cluster’s mission to enhance and support interdisciplinary healthcare education and research, and provide knowledge and experience to fulfill the needs of the Qatari society.”

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