Posted on November 24, 2016

Qatar University College of Health Sciences (QU-CHS) faculty and students yesterday organized and participated in a community outreach event as part of activities to mark World Diabetes Day.

Themed “Eyes on Diabetes,” the event was organized in collaboration with Qatar Diabetic Association (QDA). It aimed to highlight the importance of screening to guarantee an early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and management to reduce the hazard of serious complications. Four booths by QU Health Clinic, QDA, Khulud Pharmacy, and Abbot pharmaceutical company were set up at the Women’s Science Building (C01) – Atrium. At QDA booth, students and visitors were provided with one-on-one counseling, blood glucose testing, brochures about type 2 diabetes and screening program and treatment, and nutritional counseling.

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The event also included a lecture on “Do we know enough about Diabetes?” by Dr Buthaina Ibrahim Alowinati, Consultant in Diabetes at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q). It also featured a “blue for breakfast” to highlight the importance of maintaining a healthy and balanced diet to prevent the disease, and a campus walk activity to support individuals with diabetes and raise community awareness on the importance of exercise in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and its complications.

Commenting on the event, QU College of Health Sciences (CHS) Dean and Biomedical Research Center (BRC) Director Dr Asmaa Al Thani said: “Type 2 diabetes is a preventable disease and health science advocates should try to raise awareness on how to prevent type 2 diabetes and its complications. This event aligns with our commitment to the healthcare objectives expressed in the National Health Strategy 2011-2016. It also demonstrates QU’s continuous efforts to raise awareness on important health issues and to improve the overall health of Qatari society.”

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CHS Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences Dr Nasser Rizk, who is also leading the event, said: “According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) surveys, one in two adults with diabetes is undiagnosed because the disease’s symptoms seem harmless. They include frequent urination, unusual thirst, hunger, and weight loss with frequent and recurrent infections, blurred vision, and tingling and numbness in hands and feet. Therefore, knowing the signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can help with early detection and treatment. Screening for diabetes and its important part of effective management of the disease to ensure optimal health. The complications of diabetes include blindness, kidney disease, and amputations. Additionally, diabetes doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke.”

2nd-year Biomedical Sciences student Naila Kitaz noted that her participation in such an event has contributed to developing her teamwork and communication skills, and to enhancing her knowledge on diabetes and how to prevent complication.