ABU DHABI // Experts warn that diabetes will kill every patient inflicted with the disease if attempts to treat and control it are not taken as soon as possible.
"The problem with diabetes is that it does not hurt, and once it begins to hurt, then it's too late for the patient," said Dr Andreas Pfuetzner, the founder and president of the Institute of Clinical Research and Development in Mainz, Germany.
Dr Pfuetzner was part of a panel of leaders in the field from Germany, Switzerland and Austria, who spoke yesterday at the inaugural Diabetes Symposium held in Abu Dhabi's Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT).
The symposium was the first event to take place under the newly formed CERT Diabetes Academy (CDA) which will open in Abu Dhabi this year, and which was announced on Monday by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
Dr Tayeb Kamali, the president of CDA, said the academy will support the UAE's National Diabetes Programme through research, sharing best practices, and collaborating with healthcare experts in the region, to bring down the numbers of those suffering from with diabetes.
The World Health Organisation has recently corrected its 2010 data for the prevalence of diabetes in the UAE, said Dr Zbigniew Ruszczak, a consultant in dermatology, allergy and wound care at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.
"The prevalence of diabetes in the UAE is 22.3 per cent according to new data, and that will double by 2030," he said, compared to the previously believed number of 19 per cent.
"We have the highest numbers of deaths among young people aged between 30 and 45 with diabetes, and not enough is spent yearly on treating the disease.
"We have a lot to do."