ABU DHABI // A three-year programme to fight diabetes was begun yesterday by the Ministry of Health, as it signed off on a deal with a pharmaceuticals company. The agreement with Sanofi Aventis is part of a 10-year plan announced in January and is aimed at educating medical professionals and the public about the disease, which affects one in five people in the UAE. "This campaign represents our commitment to the federal government strategy, which promotes solid partnerships between government and private institutions to strive to better the well-being of our UAE's community and protect public health," Humaid al Qattami, the Minister of Health, said in a statement released yesterday.
The objective of the campaign is "to enhance awareness through education in an attempt to reduce the incidence of the disease. "We are committed to this partnership and to continually securing better health care services to all Emiratis and expatriates." The ministry emphasised that schoolchildren would play a significant part in the campaign, which it said would focus on healthful lifestyles. In addition to the school-based programmes, the ministry hopes to screen children for risk factors of diabetes.