Diabetes a 'major public health problem'

Diabetes mellitus is a major public health problem in Saudi Arabia with almost 25 percent of Saudi adults between the ages of 30 to 70 suffering from the disease, according to a Ministry of Health official.
Speaking on the eve of a major conference on the disease, Mourad Al-Mourad, consultant and senior adviser to the diabetes prevention and control program at the ministry, said that only 19 percent of people with diabetes in the region are committed to managing their diabetes while the caregiver is playing an increasingly important role in diabetes management.
“Our goal is to improve patients’ health. For people with diabetes and their families, it’s vital they understand that when their diabetes is well controlled, their quality of life will also improve.”
He said that the patient plays a key role in managing diabetes through a number of measures such as regular self-monitoring of blood glucose levels and adherence to prescribed treatments.
Local medical experts will meet in three cities across the Kingdom this week to attend lectures by internationally renowned specialists.
“This meeting is important as it provides a platform for health care professionals to discuss and learn about adherence, the importance of regular blood glucose monitoring and the role of patient education in improving adherence,” Al-Mourad said.
Mohamed M. Hassanein, consultant in diabetes and endocrinology at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Glan Clwyd Hospital, Wales, will lecture on the benefits of adherence, therapy adjustment and patient education in managing diabetes.
Mohamed Adel Hosni, head of medical and regulatory affairs at LifeScan, said: “Caregivers play a key role in supporting their family members with good diabetes management. There is a thirst for knowledge among caregivers on how they can support a family member with diabetes in managing his condition.”
“We have organized more than 30 patient educational initiatives on diabetes management in hospitals across the Kingdom this year.”
He added that more than 40 percent of attendees at these events were caregivers who had a family member with diabetes.
Ahmed Habiba, marketing manager at LifeScan, said: “We have developed the Lamasat program to empower patients and their family members with the right knowledge and right tools about diabetes.”
The Lamasat family support program has been designed around the “Four Cs” which are: Check blood sugar regularly, control the highs and lows of glucose levels, consume healthy food, and take care by exercising and adopting a healthy lifestyle.