(MENAFN Press) Dubai, United Arab Emirates
As many as 546 previously unmanaged local patients were examined in 2012 by top notch specialists thanks to the unique Win Over Diabetes (WOD) mobile clinic, with 11 undiscovered and 42 uncontrolled cases found, and 112 needing further consultation, according to the Head of the Emirates Diabetes Society (EDS), Dr Abdul Razzaq Al Madani.
The WOD mobile clinic visited five rural clinics across the UAE in total, bringing comprehensive care, education and local community interaction.
"2012 saw many rural, residential areas covered with locals in the areas welcoming the mobile clinic, and participating in the screenings. We have had an incredibly positive response, which has led us to initiate the service over 2013 in Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the Ambulatory Healthcare Service for the first half of the year, and introduce fundus testing for diabetes-related complications such as diabetic macular edema (DME) which can lead to unnecessary blindness in patients," said Dr Al Madani.
DME, a complication of diabetes that causes fluid to accumulate in the central portion of the eye resulting in blurred vision, can lead to loss of sight and total blindness without adequate treatment, and can often occur without symptoms prior to vision loss.1
In response to the high prevalence of diabetes in the local community, where access to specialised diabetes treatment is a challenge, the WOD clinic will visit nine Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS) clinics in the Eastern region of Abu Dhabi, allowing endocrinologists specialists on board to carry out diabetes screening, provide examinations and consultations for diabetic patients, and provide wider medical education to physicians, patients and nurses, and streamline effective management of the disease through all care providers.
"Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the country, and the complications resulting from it are very dangerous to individuals and a major challenge for the health care system. This campaign provides an opportunity to conduct preventive testing for diabetes patients, such as retinal testing for prevention of blindness, which is one of the most important complications of diabetes. This test should be performed on patients once they are diagnosed with diabetes and annually after that. This test is recommended by the medical academies for diabetics and the Health Authority in Abu Dhabi, and is a necessary and pleasing addition to the WOD clinic campaign," said Dr. Omar Jabri, Chief Medical Officer, AHS.
The day-trips allow specialists on board to carry out diabetes screening, provide examinations and consultations for diabetic patients, and provide wider medical education to physicians, patients and nurses in the area to aid effective management of the disease and also reduce the staggering rate of diabetes in the local population.
The mobile clinic is also fully equipped to provide screenings to the residents, which will involve blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid testing, together with the monitoring of other important vital signs.
Diabetes mellitus is the fourth leading cause of death by disease globally, and is the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment among adults in developed countries.
According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of diabetes is highest among member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), ranging from 11.5 to 20 percent, with 20 percent of the local population affected in the UAE. This makes diabetes management as the priority for all the stakeholders in UAE.2
The EDS AHS mobile clinic campaign in the first half of 2013 intends to cover nine remote clinics UAE with specialist health care practitioners onboard making visits to the country's many hospitals, healthcare clinics, and community centres.
Organizers of the mobile clinic campaign also point out that the mobile clinic tour is not only intended to screen UAE residents for diabetes but also to offer treatment and care optimization in remote areas, including:
Diabetic patients also suffering from complications such as hypoglycaemia
Weight gain in diabetic patients due to a lack of effective management and even, in some cases, awareness of their illness
Patients with diabetes-associated illnesses such as high blood pressure (hypertension) and abnormal levels of fats/cholesterol in the blood (dyslipidaemia)
The 'Win Over Diabetes' mobile clinic is a joint patient service initiative between the Emirates Diabetes Society and Swiss pharmaceutical company, Novartis - one of the leading pharmaceutical companies worldwide, offering partnership in patient-oriented services beyond the innovative medications across different therapeutic areas.
The mobile clinic campaign with AHS will be in the following locations throughout the first half of 2013:
12 January “ Al Qua'a
26 January “ Mezeyed
23 February “ Al Hayer
9 March “ Al Faqa and Showaib
30 March “ Swaihan
13 April “ Al Yahar
27 April “ Khatim
11 May “ Khazna and Remah
25 May “ Hilli