The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), in conjunction with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and Sidra Medicine, is celebrating World Diabetes Day 2021 under the theme 'Access to Diabetes Care: If Not Now, When?".
As part of its celebration, the MoPH, in co-operation with its partners, is organising a series of activities this month to raise awareness of diabetes. Qatar, with the prevalence of this disease at 17% , has realised the need to develop a national strategy for diabetes to oversee the implementation and facilitate interaction and co-operation between all healthcare providers and involve all relevant governmental and non-governmental organisations in its prevention and improve access to healthcare for those affected, Qatar News Agency reports.
In this context, the Qatar National Diabetes Strategy 2016-2022 was launched, and the MoPH and its partners have had made many important achievements through this strategy.
Co-chair of the Qatar National Diabetes Committee, and chairman for the Qatar Metabolic Institute, Prof Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra, referred to the pregnancy diabetes screening programme as one of Qatar’s achievements in this field, through which gestational diabetes is diagnosed and treated through screening 89% of pregnant women during the first three months of their pregnancy, and care services for pregnant women are provided at PHCC or HMC.
Head of the Non-Communicable Diseases Department at the MoPH, Dr Kholoud al-Mutawa, pointed out that type 2 diabetes is now occurring increasingly in children, often due to obesity. She noted that the ministry is currently working with its partners to prepare a national strategy and action plan to prevent this disease and obesity among children and the action plan will focus on specific policies, strategies and interventions to promote health, prevent disease and improve access to appropriate care.
Senior consultant of Family Medicine and executive director of operations at PHCC, Dr Samia al-Abdullah, pointed to the integrated role of primary care in increasing the scope of access to care, through examination and provision of services for diabetic patients. She ensured that preventive and sustainable care needs are met and improving care and accessibility for people with this disease in Qatar requires the implementation of new models such as where and when patients receive primary care, who they see, and when to refer to secondary care and then advanced.
Senior consultant and head of HMC's Endocrinology and Diabetes Division, Dr Mahmoud Ali Zirie, explained that the National Diabetes Centres at Hamad General Hospital, Al Wakra Hospital and the Women's Wellness and Research Center provide specialised services through a multidisciplinary team of health professionals to provide clinical, nutritional and educational services to diabetics at one place to enhance access to multidisciplinary care on a single visit.
Manal Othman, director of Diabetes Education at HMC, urged all healthcare providers to facilitate access to diabetes awareness in a consistent manner. She highlighted that Qatar has made significant progress by providing a diabetes awareness and self-management programme for the newly diagnosed, in English and Arabic, to more than 300 patients suffering from type 2 of this disease during small group sessions held at Hamad General Hospital and Al Wakra Hospital.