The health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have joined the world in celebrating World Diabetes Day, with a ceremony organised by the leading global healthcare company Novo Nordisk in cooperation with the Embassy of Denmark.

Held at Burj Plaza in Downtown Dubai, the event helped highlight the UAE’s achievements made to enhance the level of healthcare services provided to people with diabetes and shed light on future initiatives and technologies that would advance the treatment and prevention methods of diabetes in the country and improve the results of the National Diabetes Index.

Burj Khalifa lit up with the global diabetes logo during the ceremony, which coincided with the centenary of the discovery of insulin, one of the greatest medical discoveries.

During the gathering, local health authorities and strategic partners reviewed ways to strengthen their cooperation, enhance the public awareness of diabetes and develop prevention plans and initiatives.

It has also been a great time to call on all stakeholders to step up their efforts to limit the spread of this disease, improve the quality of life of the community and discuss national and international policies and strategies to better manage diabetes, innovate new treatment methods and bring about a real change by reducing the prevalence of diabetes in the region.

Speaking on the occasion, Mads Bo Larsen, Vice President and UAE General Manager at Novo Nordisk, said that all parties taking part in the event share one clear goal. It is to strengthen cooperation to combat diabetes, bring about a positive change, improve people’s access to health care services and enhance the quality of their lives.

Larsen lauded the distinguished milestones made by the UAE in the fight against diabetes, which as he said, would not have been possible had it not been for the country’s integrated and sustained efforts, launching innovative initiatives and projects, providing world-class health and treatment services.

Stressing the importance of the event, Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin, Ambassador of Denmark to the UAE, urged all stakeholders to step up their efforts to fight diabetes, which is one of most serious non-communicable diseases and affects more than 500 million people around the world.

The ambassador said that the health authorities in Denmark and the UAE are doing their best and moving in the right direction towards fighting diabetes by developing innovative treatments and introducing new healthcare strategies to save the lives of diabetics and improve their access to various healthcare services.

Mellbin expressed his pleasure at taking part in the event, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, and highlighted the need to constantly conduct research and go the extra mile to come up with new treatment solutions that can help in the fight against this chronic disease.

He also underlined the importance of public private partnerships and working closely together with patients and their families to ensure compliance and successful treatment.

For his part, Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Public Health Sector, stressed that the Ministry of Health and Prevention will spare no effort to provide the best healthcare and treatment services to people with diabetes and reduce the health risks of diabetes by continuously conducting related research and scientific studies, adding: "Diabetes is being given a top priority within the ministry’s initiatives and programmes." "The UAE is racing against time to develop innovative health services and is constantly updating the National Non-Communicable Disease Control Policy. This comes in line with the country’s forward-looking vision, the Principles of the 50 and is in implementation of the wise directives of the UAE leadership," Al Rand said.

Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for the Health Regulatory Sector, stressed the importance of the event, which brought together eminent speakers and a great audience with a common objective: bringing a real impact on reducing the prevalence of diabetes in the UAE community and improving the quality of life of people living with diabetes.

Al Amiri stressed that the local health authorities are making every effort to develop the country’s preventive systems to safeguard the health of the UAE people and provide comprehensive and distinguished health services. Thanks to all their efforts, the prevalence of diabetes in the UAE has declined from 18.9% in 2010 to 11.8% in 2018.

He went on to say that the UAE has been one of the first countries to attract and launch innovations including medicines and devices. Such products that entered the UAE market granted individuals with diabetes the opportunity to better manage their condition and improve their quality of life.

Dr. Yousef Mohammed Al Serkal, Director-General of the Emirates Health Services (EHS), affirmed that UAE’s health system stands out for its unique efficiency and flexibility in providing innovative healthcare and treatment services and introducing smart digital solutions that perfectly meet the growing needs of diabetic patients.   He said, "Today and as we join the world in celebrating World Diabetes Day, we have become more mindful than ever before that the chronic disease, which affects humans of all ages, represents health, social and economic burden. we affirm our full support for multilateral efforts being made to improve the health of all individuals, promote healthy lifestyles and provide accessible preventive, curative and promotional services and hence we also renew our commitment to taking all necessary measures and measures to confront it."  Highlighting the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle in fighting diabetes, Director General, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, Matar Saeed Rashed Al Nuaimi said the ADPHC is playing its full part in supporting the ongoing efforts being made to combat diabetes.

"Today, we stand together to promote awareness and direct attention towards the importance of collaboration and uniting efforts among all stakeholders to save lives, address the plague of diabetes and reduce its complications," Al Nuaimi said.

Dr. Younis Mohammed Amin Kazim, CEO of Dubai Healthcare Corporation, said, "DHA has developed a multi-faceted robust strategy that covers all aspects from prevention to the use of AI technology and telemedicine to manage as well as prevent type 2 diabetes due to obesity, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.

"We have implemented, over the years, policies and created health-supporting environments to reduce risk. All our primary healthcare centres act as gatekeepers to ensure prevention as well as early treatment, specialist referrals and timely care. We also have endocrinology and paediatric endocrinology units at Dubai hospital and we have a dedicated Dubai Diabetes Centre that provides the highest quality of multidisciplinary diabetes care," Kazim added.

He emphasised that DHA aims to provide the highest quality of diabetic care while focusing on prevention and healthy lifestyles to ensure a healthier and happier community.

Considering the often unmet and unique needs of people with diabetes in getting regular follow-up and monitoring, Howard Gough, Chairman of Advisory Committee at TruDoc Healthcare, highlighted the unique hybrid model of care that TruDoc provides. He also emphasised on the importance of working collaboratively across the healthcare ecosystem involving the leaders among pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession with the aim to support patients optimally at their convenience Renuka Jagtiani, Chairwoman & CEO, Landmark Group, said, "At Landmark Group, driving diabetes awareness is very close to our hearts. We started driving this cause passionately since 2009, with our flagship CSR initiative, Beat Diabetes. This year too we will be hosting the 12th edition of Beat Diabetes event on the 26th November at Zaabeel Park, and I am happy to invite you all to be a part of it.

The discovery of insulin transformed the way this chronic disease is managed. Our strategic partnership with Novo Nordisk in commemorating 100 years of insulin discovery demonstrates our shared objective of raising awareness and contributing towards diabetes research and treatment".

Ashish Koshy, CEO at G42 Healthcare, stressed the G42 Healthcare’s commitment to developing sustainable solutions for chronic disease management, by innovating and deploying holistic and scalable AI offerings that unlock the potential of personalised and preventive care.


© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.