Diabetes awareness survey reveals alarming figures across the Middle East and Northern Africa region

Diabetes awareness survey reveals alarming figures across the Middle East and Northern Africa region
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Published November 30th, 2010 - 16:04 GMT

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Dubai
,
Sharjah
,
Abu Dhabi
,
Steno Diabetes
,
Novo Nordisk A/S
,
Fikri
,
HealthMinisters’ Council for GCC States
,
Ministry of Health

As part of its contribution to World Diabetes Day 2010 (14 November), Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company, mandated Ipsos Emirates Health to conduct a survey in 10 countries of the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region: Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq,
Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Conducted in
October 2010, the survey aims to assess the level of awareness and knowledge
among the general population with regard to causes, risks and complications of
diabetes. It also investigates respondents’ risk of developing diabetes based
on a risk score methodology. With over 3,000 interviews, the respondents were
representative of the demographic and socioeconomic profile in each country.


The survey
shows that 40% of respondents are at risk of developing diabetes in the MENA region,
a very high figure compared to currently available figures on diabetes
prevalence.


Despite
a high awareness level of the scale of the disease, only one out of two
respondents considers diabetes to be a severe or a very severe disease. Myths
about diabetes remain very common:

 

 ◦31% of
 Algerian respondents believe that diabetes is contagious

 ◦Half of
 respondents (52%) declared that stroke cannot be caused by diabetes.

 

Professor Dr
Tawfik A M Khoja, director general of the executive board of the Health
Ministers’ Council for GCC States, welcomes the initiative which shows “the
need to align and unify the fight against diabetes in the GCC States. This data
reveals vital information on the gaps and challenges that we need to face
together to improve the awareness, detection and treatment of diabetes in the
region.”


Lise Kingo, executive vice president and chief of
staffs at Novo Nordisk A/S, stated: “The results of
the MENA diabetes awareness survey are striking. The need to further educate
the general public about the risk factors, complications and the severity of
the condition is very clear. We hope that the initiative will inspire
authorities to tackle this issue. We believe that early detection of diabetes,
prevention and education can make a difference; both in terms of people living
longer and healthier lives and in terms of health systems saving substantial
costs.”


As part of its
contribution to raising awareness of diabetes in the region, Novo Nordisk
launched the Changing Diabetes® World Tour[1] in
the run-up to World Diabetes Day in the Emirate of Sharjah on 9 November 2010 in
partnership with the UAE Ministry of Health. The screening activities of the Changing
Diabetes® World Tour will continue in Dubai
from 23 November to 16 December 2010, and will continue in Abu Dhabi up to 6 January 2011. Dr Fikri, CEO
of Health Policies at the UAE Ministry of Health stated that “the Changing
Diabetes® World Tour is a timely event in the UAE that will enhance
our efforts in the UAE Ministry of Health to draw the attention of the public
to the importance of early detection of the disease and it is also an
opportunity for us to intensify our education on the disease to the general
public”.


In addition, Novo
Nordisk is exclusively sponsoring a high-level advocacy event for the MENA
region on 12–13 December 2010 in Dubai,
UAE: the MENA Diabetes Leadership Forum.


The MENA region is facing one of
the greatest healthcare challenges of our time: the diabetes pandemic, which is
a consequence of rapid economic development, changing diet and sedentary
lifestyles. Diabetes is sweeping the region affecting an estimated 26.6 million
people today, imposing overwhelming demands on the region’s healthcare
institutions and excessive financial burdens on its governments. As alarming as
this picture is, the number of people with diabetes is expected to double to
51.7 million people by 2030. The toll this will take on the MENA region will be
enormous in both human and financial terms.

 

 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 


[1] The Changing Diabetes® World Tour, a screening, awareness
and research initiative organised by Novo Nordisk in partnership with Steno Diabetes
 Center, was launched on 9
November 2010 in Sharjah, UAE.
This initiative is aimed at driving policy change towards earlier diagnosis and
better quality of care in diabetes, and at raising awareness on the benefits of
screening and early detection. It is scheduled to visit the UAE between November
2010 and January 2011, and KSA in
February–March 2011.

 

 

 

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