An award winning happiness prescribing programme that will reduce the incidence of pre-diabetics in Dubai by 10 per cent by 2021 is off to a good start.
A pilot study implemented in the authority's lifestyle clinics in Al Barsha and Nad Al Hammar has already shown results.
Forty-three participants, who were at high risk of developing diabetes, have lost between seven to 11kgs in six months through personalised trainers, exercise plans and a tailored diet programme.
Rate of high to moderate pre-diabetic incidence in female participants decreased by 13 per cent and in males by seven per cent, said Dr Hanan Obaid, head of acute and chronic diseases unit at Dubai Health Authority (DHA), adding that weight was a risk factor in developing diabetes.
"The idea is to catch the disease before it sets in since studies show that by concentrating on early interventions, the disease could be prevented by up to 58 per cent," she said, adding that the focus was on pre-diabetics population.
Currently, 15.8 per cent (356,460) adults in Dubai are pre-diabetic and 15.2 per cent are diabetic, according to the results of the Family Diabetes Survey of the Emirate of Dubai 2017.
The programme titled 'Prevention is better than cure' will assess risk for developing diabetes in people for the coming 10 years.
To enroll in the programme, people can log in to the Hayati app or of they are visiting DHA health centres, they will be referred. The app links to the happiness prescribing programme, which is then linked to physicians and dieticians.
If a participant holds a health or insurance card, the programme is covered except for the payment to sports clubs."We have a tie up with sports clubs so that the programme participants will get a discount," said Dr Hanan.
Dr Nahed Monsef, sirector of health affairs department and the programme leader, said that diabetes has a negative impact on individuals, society as well as the health sector because of the increased cost of treatment and complications.
5-point strategy of the programme
1 Promoting healthy life style, through increasing community-based health awareness campaigns on health lifestyle
2 Implement a structured screening programme based on evidence based medicine for the early detection of diseases and the risk factors of diabetes
3 Develop innovative preventive interventions, such as 'lifestyle medicine clinics' for detected cases through the screening programme
4 Strengthening the health system and supporting it with evidence and guidelines, and effective partnership with relevant governmental and private bodies
5 Development of the non-communicable disease prevention policy at the level of Dubai which is currently awaiting approval from the Dubai Executive Council.
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