In the IDF MENA region, activities for World Diabetes Day and diabetes awareness month 2018 focused on families and diabetes.
They engaged a broad network of healthcare professionals, public health specialists and families eager to educate their communities about diabetes.
Below are some highlights of activities that took place in the 20 countries and territories of the MENA region.
Health exhibits, a walkathon and the role of the family in diabetes
In Bahrain, a World Diabetes Day (WDD) exhibit and walkathon was organized by the National Committee for Noncommunicable diseases in collaboration with Bahrain Diabetes Society. The health exhibit included stations to promote diabetes awareness, screening for obesity, and diabetes complications offering an eye and foot exam. The day rounded out with a popular walkathon and aerobic session.
In A’ali, WDD was marked with a health fair and free consultations from several medical specialties. The role of family in diabetes was a key focus as well as prevention and self-management, especially highlighting healthy lifestyles. The event was under the patronage of Dr. Maryam Al-Hajeri, Vice President of Bahrain Diabetes Society.
Women and families managing diabetes
In Minya City, the Upper Egypt Diabetes Association (UEDA) organised a variety of educational events for physicians, nurses and people with diabetes, which were all well-attended. In particular, one event entitled the Gestational Diabetes Project in Upper Egypt was developed for young women. Blood glucose testing, HbA1c measurements, eye exams and educational materials were reviewed and distributed. Healthy lifestyles were also discussed and healthy meals were served.
The Arabic Association for the Study of Diabetes and Metabolism (AASD) in collaboration with the faculties of medicine, Suez Canal University, and New Kasr Al Ainy, Cairo University organised lectures, screenings and more for doctors and people living with diabetes during World Diabetes Day week.
Managing the difficulties of living with diabetes
The Gabric Diabetes Education Association facilitated a press conference with participation of IR-MOH, Gabric Diabetes Education Association and the Iranian Diabetes Society, to address the issues and difficulties that people with diabetes experience in Iran.
Reaching out to communities on Iraqi TV and radio, and in shopping malls
The Iraqi Diabetes Association (IDA) developed TV and radio interviews and discussions about WDD with three prominent physicians of the IDA. Simultaneously, screening programs were organised in the largest urban shopping malls in Baghdad with blood pressure and blood glucose testing. In collaboration with Novartis, thousands of educational materials were distributed.
People with all types of diabetes gather for WDD conference
The Lebanese Society of Endocrinology Diabetes and Lipids under the patronage of the Minister of Public Health and in collaboration with the Chronic Care Center organised a diabetes conference and public session for WDD. Participants discussed the role of family and diabetes with a panel discussion which included the President of the Society, the President of the MOPH National Committee on Diabetes. Media representatives, people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, Young Leaders, social workers and nurse educators all participated in the successful event.
In Beirut, DiaLeb organized a diabetes awareness health day in partnership with the Health and Wellness Center, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at AUB and AUBMC for WDD. DiaLeb team members with the help of students and volunteers performed over 650 free blood glucose testing, 50 HbA1c screening tests and distributed magazines, flyers and brochures to all those who visited the booths. In addition, fun activities and educational games took place to help people learn more about diabetes.
People with diabetes and family members gather for education
A public awareness session was organised by Diabetic Association of Pakistan and the WHO Collaborating Centre on Sunday November 18, 2018. More than 350 people with diabetes and their family members attended the session. A panel of experts explained the preventive strategies to combat the high prevalence of diabetes in Pakistan. The session was highly interactive.
Syrian Arab Republic
Focus on children
In the Damascus Cultural Center, children with diabetes attended a play, a dance and gentle blood glucose testing. The children enjoyed the entertainment and the camaraderie. In Aleppo, healthcare professionals organised a roundtable discussion to review the financial and psychological burden related to diabetes.