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DHA Doctors Complete First International Diabetes Course

The () announced the accreditation of 200 doctors from across Dubai following the Emirates’ First International Course organized in collaboration with the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). This is the first time this course has been delivered outside the USA and was supported by the Ministry of Health.

The course was discussed in a DHA press conference yesterday in their headquarters attended by Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Saif Kalban, CEO, Primary Health Sector at the DHA, Dr. Abdulrazzak Ali Almadani CEO of Dubai Hospital, and Dr. Osama Hamdy, representing AACE from Harvard Medical School.

The CEO of the primary sector said that the course is part of the efforts undertaken by the Authority to strengthen its strategic partnerships with various medical institutions at the global level with a view to spreading best therapeutic practices for patients with diabetes and their application in various clinics and centers of Dubai Health Authority’s efforts also focus on the training of doctors and specialists involved in caring for patients with diabetes, in light of the of the increasing prevalence of this disease at the national level, which ranks second globally in terms of incidence of the disease.

Dr. Abdulrazzak Ali Almadani, CEO of Dubai Hospital commented, “The current program marks the first time the AACE has conducted a course outside the US, with the UAE’s high prevalence of diabetes one of the key factors in the decision to reaching out to doctors in the Emirates. About 24 per cent of UAE nationals have diabetes making it the second most affected country in the World after Nauru. It has been the DHA’s strategy to tackle this condition using a multidisciplinary approach and training our primary healthcare physicians is a crucial part of this strategy.”

Ms Heba Al Shaar, Director of Institutional Marketing and Communications and committee-member of the DHA’s diabetes screening and awareness program said that in addition to training primary health care doctors the DHA is also focusing on its two-fold strategy of conducting a massive house-hold screening survey to gauge the average percentage of people in Dubai with diabetes as well as a targeted awareness program which will reach out to school children to educate them about the importance of healthy eating and exercise.

Dr. Nahed Monsef Director of health affairs department, primary health care spoke about the importance of improving standards, and updating doctors’ knowledge and skills which will reflect positively on quality of care on key performance indicators related to in primary health care. Dr.Monsef added that, “Patient care in the diabetic mini clinic exceeds international standards in some of our health centers.” Dr. Monsef also announced that the provision of international standards of care provided to diabetic patients and the extension of the training programs to all PHC physicians is a key strategic move for the DHA.

Dr Hamdy is one of a number of leading experts who traveled to the UAE to lead the final stage of the course. Broken down into five core modules and delivered over six months, the program addressed a broad spectrum of diabetes-related issues such as obesity, the prevention of type 2 diabetes, management of cardiovascular risk and hypertension in patients with diabetes as well as numerous diabetic diseases.

Course director and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Osama Hamdy said , “With all the new research, practices and technology available, quality of care for diabetes has radically changed. We want to make sure that GPs are up to date on how to best prevent and manage diabetes, particularly in the UAE where it is such an issue. Our course, alongside numerous ministry of health driven initiatives, will certainly help control both the progression of the disease and its high financial and lifestyle costs.” Dr Hamdy added, “The course has been completed amidst recent debate surrounding Avandia, which physicians have been advised to continue prescribing by the AACE, despite a leaked US Senate report which attempted to counter the FDA’s approved course of action.”

“Sixty one per cent of patients with diabetes in the UAE already have kidney disease,” added Dr Hamdy. “The team will be exploring how to improve this statistic and make sure that we cut the cost to the individual and the overall healthcare system. We will also be sharing some best-practice gathered during the Diabetes Prevention Program, a major multicenter clinical research study conducted in the US. From the study we discovered that participants who lost a modest amount of weight through dietary changes and increased physical activity sharply reduced their chances of developing diabetes. Arming GPs in the UAE with the knowledge to affect this change should have a strongly positive impact on the prevalence of diabetes.”

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