MOH News
Dr. Al-Rabeeah' Speech on the Occasion of World Diabetes Day
12 November 2013
In line with the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the Crown Prince and the Second Deputy Prime Minister, May Allah protect them, to maintain the health and safety of citizens, and provide them with integrated health services, the Ministry of Health (MOH), proceeding from its effective role, hastened to develop a 10-year comprehensive strategy in which patients come first as implied by MOH's slogan “Patients First”; in an attempt to serve patients and attain their satisfaction. The MOH harnessed all its capabilities to entrench patients’ respect culture, maintain their rights, and take care of them by all officials, directorates, hospitals, and health centres.
On this day (14th, November 2013), we celebrate the World Diabetes Day, which is held under the theme (Protect our Future). Actually, we believe that diabetes is a chronic disease that affects both men and women with different ages, and it has various causes. In fact, diabetes constitutes a health, economic, and social dilemma. According to the 2012 International Diabetes Federation (IDF) statistics, around 371 million people suffer from diabetes around the world, with expectations that this number to be doubled by 2030, unless serious actions and procedures are taken.
The prevalence of diabetes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has reached about 14% among its people, as the KSA is considered one of the top ten countries that suffer from the prevalence of this disease. Therefore, through its National Project for Integrated and Comprehensive Health Care, the MOH endeavors to increase health awareness over chronic diseases, such as diabetes, and its risk factors.
Benefiting from public and private institutions within the social health partnership concept, the MOH seeks to promote programs of diabetes early detection and integrated healthcare through the optimal use of resources, helping reduce the rate of infections, deaths, and disabilities resulting from such diseases and their complications.
In the past few years, the MOH has registered 20 specialized diabetes healthcare centers, in addition to 4 centers under construction in various regions in the Kingdom. This comes within the framework of MOH's keenness to establish more specialized diabetes centers with the aim to achieving a quantum leap at the level of therapeutic services, promoting awareness and preventative procedures and activities to reduce diabetes rates in the Kingdom. 
As part of its therapeutic and preventative efforts, the MOH restructured the National Committee to Combat Diabetes in order to keep on implementing the Gulf Plan (2008-2018) to fight diabetes, protect the society against its risks, and put a comprehensive strategic plan at the kingdom’s level including educating the Saudi society about diabetes, ways of protection to limit is complications at its several stages. In addition, the MOH suggested the continuing education program and the development of training programs to diabetes therapeutic and preventative services presenters, as well as specialized diabetes studies and researches, and work on establishing a diabetes national record. 
Furthermore, the MOH has launched the 10-year National Executive Plan of Diabetes Control; in order to protect the Saudi society from diabetes. The plan is based on promoting and enhancing health awareness among the Saudi society about diabetes, its risk factors, improving old detection programs, and reducing the chances of diabetes and its complications.
At present, the MOH is carrying an awareness campaign under the theme "Diabetes .. Be Vigilant to it", that is in line with this executive plan to raise awareness about diabetes reasons and treatment methods aiming at limiting risk factors that lead to diabetes such as bad nutritional habits, lack of physical activity. The campaign included distributing glucose screening devices to citizens recorded in healthcare centers as diabetics.
It is possible to prevent diabetes –Allah willing- by using simple procedures such as maintain a healthy weight, practice physical activities, eat healthy food, follow safe healthy lifestyle patterns, and adhere to specialized advice about this disease. 
In conclusion, I pray to Allah to save the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince and the Second Deputy, protect our beloved country, sustain the bless of security, stability and wellbeing, amen.

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