SEHA provides advanced medical care, educational resources and counseling for diabetic patients

Between 2019 and 2020 medical care was delivered to more than 266,000 diabetic patients

  
  • The Nursing department played a pivotal role in treating and educating diabetic patients, along with their families 

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the UAE’s largest public health network, treated over 266,000 patients suffering from diabetes from January 2019 till October 2020. This period also witnessed around one million visits by the patients to SEHA’s various health facilities to receive treatment, diagnosis, and increase awareness about the management of the disease. SEHA also conducted a range of educational campaigns to help guide diabetic patients about the management of the chronic illness in Abu Dhabi. 

In 2019, SEHA’s facilities treated 152,245 diabetic patients, and 113,796 from January to October 2020. From January to October 2020, there were 391,951 visits made by diabetic patients, and 590,302 visits in 2019. The visits to SEHA’s hospitals and clinics encompassed clinical diagnosis, development of treatment plans and programs, as well as testing and monitoring of the disease in line with international guidelines for management and best practice. SEHA’s commitment to delivering world-class healthcare is part of the Abu Dhabi government’s vision to position the emirate as a leader in healthcare both on a regional and global level.

Aysha Al Mehri, Group Chief Nursing Officer, Corporate Nursing, SEHA, said, “SEHA is celebrating and marking World Diabetes Day under its theme, ‘Nurses make a difference’, to recognize the integral role of nurses in the treatment of diabetes. As the cornerstone of the UAE’s healthcare sector, SEHA is at the forefront of delivering effective care to patients dealing with diabetes and has therefore dedicated part of its nursing department to specialize in treating the disease with highly qualified and experienced healthcare professionals. Their role is crucial in educating, raising awareness, and supporting the community in minimizing the effects of the chronic illness.”

“Nurses work side by side with other multidisciplinary teams to help diabetic patients with clinical management plans, learn to cope with the disease, avoid its complications and provide their families with the educational resources to ensure the best outcomes. Our nursing team also drives community campaigns to promote the role of leading a healthy lifestyle in the prevention of the disease, and the risk factors associated with developing type 2 diabetes.” she continued.

“SEHA is focused on delivering the most effective treatment plans for diabetic patients, especially with the emergence of COVID-19. As a team, we ensured all our patients received the best care according to their condition and supported their treatment journeys with regular communication. Nurses provided the patients with the appropriate counseling and reiterated the importance of taking prescribed medications. Moreover, our nursing teams organized the home delivery of prescription medications to patients regularly, to minimize their exposure to COVID-19.” she added

Al Mehri also explained that SEHA has invested in equipping its facilities with the latest diagnostic technologies and devices for the treatment of the disease, and other complications or conditions caused by the disease. For example, facilities leverage the use of blood glucose meters and advanced insulin pumps, in addition to various specialized diabetes monitoring equipment to provide the right treatment to each diabetic patient. The insulin pump is a device that detects blood sugar levels throughout the day and automatically delivers insulin into the bloodstream, to minimize the discomfort of using multiple needles to deliver medication. 

Ambulatory Healthcare Services

Dr. Omar Naseeb Al-Jabri, Chief Medical Officer, Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS), SEHA, said “All of our teams and facilities focus on both prevention and curative care to fight diabetes. We do this by always monitoring and testing our patients during follow-up visits, according to guidelines set out by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi. Under the medication home delivery service, the family medicine practitioner is responsible for evaluating the condition during routine follow-ups. Furthermore, AHS utilizes the latest innovations to treat diabetes, including Sudoscan, which identifies the impact and degree of nerve damage within three minutes through a painless procedure. Additionally, we use the ankle-brachial index test which is a quick, non-invasive way to check for peripheral artery disease (PAD), and specialist cameras to detect the early signs of retinopathy, which is classified as any harm caused to the retina of the eye. Nerve damage, PAD, and retinopathy are all complications related to diabetes.”

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, AHS has enabled diabetic patients to continue their treatment programs without the risk of infection or need to visit a clinic. One of our most prominent services was the periodic delivery of prescribed medications to the homes of registered patients, as part of the campaign ‘Don’t be concerned’. We also provided counseling via a telephone service to manage non-emergency cases and mobile clinics to conduct additional blood tests as needed.” he continued.  

Despite the challenges faced during the pandemic, Al-Jabri stated that AHS provided its 10,079 diabetic patients with adequate support to maintain continuity of their treatment. As part of medication home delivery service, there were 28,570 examinations conducted on diabetic patients’ feet – a testament to the unit’s dedication to protecting vulnerable members of the community.

Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City 

Dr. Nahed Ahmed Balalaa, Chair of the Outpatient Department and Head of the General Surgery Department, Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC), the UAE’s largest hospital for serious and complex care and a joint-venture partnership between Mayo Clinic and SEHA said, “SSMC has a specialized Diabetes and Endocrinology Clinic, which addresses the needs of diabetic patients and treating them by an integrated team of experienced consultant endocrinologists and highly qualified diabetes specialists. The clinic is equipped with cutting-edge medical technologies and diagnostic applications which employ artificial intelligence (AI) to improve outcomes. Since its establishment at the start of 2020, the clinic has treated 5,000 patients using state-of-the-art diabetes treatments, the latest medications, and innovative delivery of insulin. Our range of treatments encompass daily and weekly diabetic needles which promote weight loss and improved management of diabetes. The center also works with patients and their families to educate, raise awareness about the disease, its management, and how to lead a good quality of life through its team of practitioners.”

“The clinic offers prenatal counseling for pregnant women, using a joint care model of early detection combined with multidisciplinary care, introduced by Mayo Clinic, a global leader in medical care. The model is integrated to provide optimum care for pregnant women suffering from gestational diabetes and improve patient outcomes for both mother and child by reducing the effects of the condition. This is achieved through the work of our team of nutritionists, doctors, fitness trainers, and psychologists who ensure patients are compliant with their treatment programs and attain the highest levels of patient satisfaction rates.” she stated. 

Sheikh Khalifa Medical City

Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) has a dedicated center for treating diabetic patients called SKMC Center for Diabetes & Endocrinology. The center employs an expert team of diabetic and endocrinology disease specialists and consultants who deliver highly effective treatment programs. These have been designed to cater to the needs of patients right from the stage of diagnosing the condition to treatment with revolutionary medical technologies. The center oversees the follow-up visits, nutritional counseling, and the

early detection of complications including the ones on the eye. The center also has pediatric capabilities led by a team of experienced doctors and nurses who specialize in treating diabetes in children. 

The nursing department of the center manages the education and training of in-patients and outpatients suffering from the disease. The center collaborates with other subspecialties at SKMC to review patient conditions, especially complications, by referring them to other clinics and centers within the hospital. These include ophthalmology, neurology, gastroenterology, urology, and cardiology, among others.

Corniche Hospital

Dr. Bashir Taha Salih, Consultant and Chair of Obstetric Medicine Department, Corniche Hospital, commented “At Corniche Hospital we treat mothers with gestational diabetes at clinics which join the efforts of obstetrics and gynecology consultants, internal medicine specialists, nutritionists and a specialized team of nurses. We consider each patient’s condition, and accordingly discuss their treatment and counseling plan, extending to all stages of pregnancy. Our team consults our patients on their due dates and type of birth, based on the most innovative applications in the field of blood glucose monitoring, such as Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM), to inform drug dosage and nutritional plans.”

Since the start of 2020 and up until the end of October, Corniche Hospital facilitated the treatment of 1,100 women diagnosed with gestational diabetes, Dr. Salih added.

Tawam Hospital

Tawam Hospital caters to and treats diabetic patients using the latest diagnostic technology through its Diabetes Center. The center features several services which manage diabetes and led by an established team of endocrinology and diabetes consultants, in addition to clinical dieticians who provide guidance and educational resources. The center features specialist clinics employing a physiotherapist focused on diabetic feet, a psychologist, an educational awareness clinic, and an ophthalmology clinic.

The center provides treatment to 5,000 patients per month, including children and pregnant women. In-patients at Tawam also benefit from the center’s capabilities. At the start of the pandemic, the center delivered its specialized services using advanced technology solutions designed to deliver remote care, to minimize the risk of infection and uphold patient safety.

Al Dhafra Hospitals 

Al Dhafra Hospitals provides specialized care on the management of diabetes, by working closely with patients and their families, to facilitate treatment through follows up visits and increasing their awareness about the disease. This includes supplying patients with educational resources about the normal percentage of blood glucose, explaining the importance of prescribing insulin in regulating blood sugar levels, and providing them with smart devices to measure sugar and blood sugar levels without pain - through sensors placed on the skin. Additionally, the facility also equips patients with the skills of managing hypoglycemia or high blood sugar, as well as providing the latest diabetes drugs including all types of insulin and diabetes-reducing drugs.

Medications include daily and weekly drugs that help regulate the level of glucose in the blood, weight loss, and minimize the risk of heart attacks or heart failure. Al Dhafra Hospitals, through its Diabetes Clinic, also facilitates the continuous and accurate monitoring of gestational diabetes.

Al Dhafra Hospitals refers its diabetic patients to its Ophthalmology clinic for regular medical examinations, as part of its effort to prevent complications of the disease and early diagnosis of complications of the disease. Patients are also referred to the hospital’s nutritionist to ensure their diet is aligned with their treatment program and increase their awareness of healthy lifestyle habits. The nutrition clinic also consults diabetic patients who are overweight or obese, by supporting their weight loss programs. Furthermore, Al Dhafra Hospitals works with the dental department to refer diabetic patients and ensure their oral health is protected.

At a community level, Al Dhafra Hospitals educates and raises awareness, and encourages the community to adopt a healthy lifestyle, in addition to conducting lectures at several community centers focused on the role of sports and leading an active lifestyle in the treatment and prevention of diabetes and other diseases associated with lack of physical activity./

-Ends-

About SEHA:

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC–SEHA – is an independent, public joint stock company created to develop the curative activities of the public healthcare system in Abu Dhabi. The company owns and operates all the public hospitals and clinics of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

SEHA is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.

SEHA is committed to continuous improvement of customer care to recognized international standards and providing the community with world-class healthcare. SEHA operates 13 hospitals with 3,385 beds, 70 ambulatory care, family care and urgent care centers and 2 blood banks. Its facilities accommodate 11,7162 inpatients annually and conduct 43,262 surgeries, as well as treating more than five million outpatients. SEHA is one of the largest integrated healthcare providers in the Middle East with more than 18,000 doctors, nurses, ancillary care, and administrative personnel. Learn more at www.seha.ae 

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