x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

World Diabetes Day to include free tests and consultations

Free tests for diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure and consultations with doctors will be on offer in Marina Mall next Friday.

ABU DHABI // Free tests for diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure and consultations with doctors will be on offer in Marina Mall next Friday, which is World Diabetes Day. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City representatives will be at the mall as part of activities this month aimed at training medical personnel and promoting public awareness of diabetes. The UAE has the second-highest rate of diabetes in the world.

"We believe this year's campaign will be particularly effective because we are directing focused messages at all concerned parties at the same time," said Dr Mahmoud Benbarka, the head of SKMC's Diabetes and Endocrinology Centre. "We are conducting re-awareness for doctors, nurses, diabetics, parents and children in schools." More than 120 doctors have also registered for a conference on Wednesday that will examine new concepts in diabetes care, new drugs and advances in therapies. They will also discuss how to overcome challenges in paediatric diabetes care.

Around the world, "Children younger than 10 usually have Type 1 diabetes, which is caused by a deficiency in insulin production by the pancreas," said the SKMC senior consultant for paediatric endocrinology, Dr Jamal Jubeh. "Symptoms include frequent urination, thirst, tiredness and weight loss." If the diabetes at that stage was not diagnosed, it could develop into diabetic ketoacidosis, with dangerously high levels of acids in the blood.

Also as part of the programme, nurses from SKMC are receiving more training to better diagnosis, manage and treat diabetes, as well as in nutrition and foot care for people with the condition. "The nurses already have the basic knowledge about diabetes and we are trying to give them deeper insight and expertise to create competency among them so they will have the initiative to achieve more in that field," said Ahmad al Qaisi, the head nurse at SKMC's diabetes centre.

The nurses will return for more training every three months. "They will create a link between the diabetes centre and the hospital sections," Dr Benbarka said. "When a diabetic visits the hospital there will be at least two nurses in each section who know how to deal with the case." The diabetes centre will offer free diabetes tests during the last week of this month from 8-9am. Those who are found to have diabetes will be advised on proper medical care. hdajani@thenational.ae