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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Diabetes facility in Dubai expands to keep up with growing demand

Dubai unit will include a new obesity centre to help people struggling to lose weight

Diabetes sufferers also carry heart disease risks, a study has said. The National
Diabetes sufferers also carry heart disease risks, a study has said. The National

Services to help obese and diabetic patients in Dubai are being expanded to keep up with demand.

The Dubai Diabetes Centre treated close to 1,000 new patients in 2017 and, as a result, is expanding its services to include a specialist obesity clinic.

Diabetes is on the rise globally mainly due to lifestyle changes such as people becoming more inactive and poor diet.

The estimated number of people with diabetes in 2015 was 415 million and in 2040, is expected to reach about 642 million at the current rate of growth. One in five people in the UAE now diabetic and another one in five pre-diabetic.

“Since the start of this centre in 2009 we have come a long way in ensuring we provide specialised services to people with diabetes under one-roof,” said Humaid Al Qutami, director-general of DHA.

“We are keen to expand the services of this centre to enhance capacity and provide high-quality multidisciplinary diabetic care to a larger number of patients.”

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In terms of total patient visits with all the different providers at the centre, including consultant endocrinologists, nurse educators, dieticians, podiatrists, exercise specialists, psychologist and retinal imaging specialists, the number exceeded 38,000 visits in 2017.

The centre recently completed a proof of concept project for the implementation of Artificial Intelligence to detect diabetic retinopathy.

Use of AI can revolutionise the manner in which the centre screens patients by being cost effective and providing high-quality care.

A new obesity clinic will help patients struggling with obesity with realistic and effective ways to lose weight and to maintain that weight loss.

“Managing patients which significant obesity and its underlying complications is a huge challenge,” said Dr Hamed Farooqi, director of the centre.

“The statistics clearly point out that obesity is one of the major factors contributing to the high prevalence of diabetes in the region.

“We already have the experts in our centre that will form a dedicated multidisciplinary team to help patients with obesity shed the pounds.

“This will directly help in improved patient outcomes and better control of diabetes.”