Citizens to be screened for non-communicable diseases

 27 Sep 2016 - 2:38

Citizens to be screened for non-communicable diseases
FROM LEFT: Mads Bo Larsen, Vice-President, Novo Nordisk for Gulf, India and Egypt; Lewis Affleck, Managing Director, Maersk Oil Qatar; Professor Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra, Chairman, Internal Medicine, HMC, and Co-Chair, National Diabetes Committee; Hamad Jass

By Fazeena Saleem / The Peninsula

DOHA: An initiative is under way to begin screening Qataris at risk of developing several non communicable diseases by 2017, said a senior official at the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) yesterday. 
The comprehensive programme initially will screen Qataris at the risk of developing conditions such as hypertension, thyroid, cancer and mental health problems, Dr. Samya Ahmad Al Abdulla, Director of Operations, PHCC, told a press conference on sidelines of International Diabetes Leadership Forum. “We are still developing some procedures regarding this project, hopefully we will launch it in 2017,” she said. 
“As a pilot project, we will start it at one or two health centres and depending on its success, will implement the programme at other health centres,” she added. 
Meanwhile, a smart clinic for diabetes at Al Wakrah Health Centre in a pilot project has so far registered more than 3,000 Qataris at risk of developing the disease. 
Among them 1,101 were screened and 55 percent were diagnosed with diabetes, said Dr. Al Abdulla.
People for screening were selected from among 10,000 Qataris who are registered with Al Wakrah health Centre. 
Among those screened, 688 showed no symptoms of diabetes and 365 were identified as pre-diabetic. 
The smart clinic for diabetes within Al Wakrah Health Centre is run with the participation of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and provides integrated healthcare facilities. 
Using a combination of data analysis and a risk-based screening, the programme identifies those with known diabetes risk factors and invites them to the smart clinic for voluntary screening.
“The programme aims at early detection of diabetes as well as other risk factors associated with the condition. Patients who are registered at Al Wakrah Health Centre are invited for screening at the clinic,” said Dr. Al Abdulla. 
“This is a pilot project. After an assessment we will decide how to expand the programme,” she added. 
Some 2,000 Qataris at the risk of developing diabetes will be called for voluntary screening in the second phase of the project. 
Sheikha Dr. Al Anoud Mohammed Al Thani, Manager, Health Promotion and Non Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Public Health, and Co-Chair, National Diabetes Committee; Professor Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra, Chairman, Internal Medicine, HMC, and Co-Chair,  National Diabetes Committee; and Dr. Abdullah Al Hamaq, Executive Director, Qatar Diabetes Association, highlighted the importance of creating awareness and prevention of diabetes. 
“Annually, Qatar spends around $2,860 per person for diabetes treatment. 
“Prevention of risk factors is better than treatment. It is also important that we identify people with the possibility of developing diabetics,” said Dr. Al Hamaq.