So they have decided to declarea all-out war, by proposing a 10-year plan to fight the diabetes epidemic among Emiratis and dedicated the current year 2009 to the cause. In 2003, diabetes was called the nation’s “disease of the century” by an endocrinologist brought in by the Ministry of Health under its visiting doctors programme.
Now the war against diabetes is being treated as a national program, and to control the disease the ministry is ready to provide, improved latest facilities and services, education and research. The ministry plans to includes :
- primary and secondary methods to prevent the on set of diabetes.
- periodic tests for diabetes so the disease can be caught early and treated.
- Publicity campaigns, including a focus on the prevalence of type 1 diabetes, which is characterized by the loss of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
- “lifestyle coaching” service for educating people about the illness, to help reduce the burden on the healthcare system.
- walking programs to raise the awareness about diabetes among common people.
According to the national health insurer, Daman, an estimated 24 per cent of Emiratis are diabetic. At their present growth rate, both forms of the disease combined are expected to cost Dh10 billion (US$2.7bn) a year to treat by 2020.