MOH News

KSA hosts GCC regional conference on diabetes economics
24 July 2007
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shall host the GCC Regional Conference on Diabetes Economics during the period from 22-24/11/1428, being 3 to 5 Nov, 2007, said Dr. Tawfeeq A. Khoja, the Director General of the Executive Bureau of the GCC Council of Health Ministers.
He said the conference will be convened in coordination with WHO East Mediterranean Office and King Faisal Specialized Hospital. It is hoped that the conference, which will be attended by a number of international, regional, and local specialists, will yield initiatives which will highly affect the policies of combating the disease.
"The changes in life patterns occurring due to the high living standards in the GCC counries have imposed great challenges", he said. "They led to prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, which is spreading in the form of an epidemic, thus imposing great danger at both national and gulf levels".
He said the conference will cast light on the burden of diabetes and the challenges it represents to health systems. It will concentrate on the new trends of combating the disease and ways of providing effective care.
He referred to the joint declaration on diabetes signed by the GCC ministers of health at their 63rd conference held last month in Geneva at the sidelines of the meetings of WHO General Assembly, which called for giving priority to combating diabetes. He said effective political support and sufficient financial and human resources are required for applying relative policies, plans, and programs. He stressed the importance of providing all support for ensuring commitment to the targets set by the World Health Organization through reducing the disease's annual mortality rate by 2% during the coming ten years; applying national strategies aiming at confronting adjustable risk factors such as eating unhealthy food, less physical activity, and smoking; applying the concepts of health boosting and community care; supporting research on diabetes epidemiology, economics, risk factors, and burden; integrative treatment and care within the activities of primary health care; enlightening on adjustable risk factors which are the basic causes of chronic diseases, especially diabetes; establishment of a high national council for combating diabetes; considering diabetes combating as a national task requiring participation of all government and community authorities; using the WHO document on "Chronic Diseases – A Vital Investment" as a general guide for applying national strategies for combating diabetes; and activating "The International Strategy for Nutritional System, physical activity, and Health".
Finally Dr. Khoja extended his gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin abdul Aziz, the Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques HRH Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, and the Minister of Health Dr. Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Mane, for the support they provided for convening the conference in the Kingdom.
On the other hand, recent reports have estimated the annual cost of treatment of diabetes and its complications in the Kingdom by SR4bn. Moreover, about 24% of the adult population of the Kingdom are diabetic. The Ministry of Health exerts great efforts to contain the cases and offer treatment. It has also organized 20 new projects for controlling the disease in the different provinces and published a number of guidebooks and work guides for assisting work teams in discovering and diagnosing the cases, formulating unified treatment and preventive measurements, and training doctors and nurses on controlling the diseases.
Diabetes represents a great financial burden on health bodies at both national and international levels. It is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases, kidney failures, blindness, brain strokes and limb amputations. About 200 million people are affected by diabetes all over the world and the figure is expected to increase to 350 million by 2025, more than 70% of them being from developing countries. Also, according to a study, about 6 million new cases are discovered every year.
The Ministry of Health exerts great efforts for controlling the disease, especially among children. It is intending to join all other world nations in commemorating the international day of diabetes, which is organized this year under the slogan (Taking care of diabetes is the right of all).
It seeks to attain these goals through formulating national programs for combating dangerous diseases, including diabetes, and converting outpatient clinics into specialized clinics. A special directorate for non contagious diseases has been established for applying special plans for controlling such diseases in accordance with internationally acknowledged health standards. The efforts have even gone beyond that. The Ministry of Health is intending to establish mini clinics within each of a total of 1800 health clinics scattered in the different cities of the Kingdom. The health clinics shall receive the cases, evaluate them, and provide treatment. They shall also improve the system of joint referring and caring with the hospitals.  

Last Update : 12 April 2011 09:50 PM
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