MOH News
Dr. Bin Saeed Launches the World Diabetes Day Activities
16 November 2014
His Excellency the Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health, Dr. Abdul-Aziz bin Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Saeed, launched yesterday evening the activities of the World Diabetes Day 2014 organized by the Ministry of Health (MOH), as represented by the National Program for Combating Diabetes.
Meanwhile, after launching the activities at King Abdullah Park in Riyadh, Dr. bin Saeed underscored that these programs and activates comes out to highlight the community partnership through the events organized by the National Program for Combating Diabetes by adopting the day which was suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO).
"All these factors, Allah willing, will lead to the intellectual and social acceptance, and to the change in the dietary habits, as well as exercising to lose weight. And they all are in the interest of the people to reduce the incidence of diabetes or to lessen diabetes complications for the person with diabetes. I believe this message surpasses diabetes to other diseases," he said.
Within the same vein, Dr. bin Saeed added that “without concern we would not succeed in fighting this disease, but we are confident in ourselves, the measures adopted, and the team working with us, as well as the support provided by the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Allah bless him, in addition to the support provided by His Excellency the Acting Minister of Health.” “All these factors,” he added, “will strengthen, Allah willing, our ability to reduce the spread of this disease, and lessen the complications for the people already suffering diabetes.”
"Our policy in the MOH is not to wait till the person is affected with the disease and then start dealing with him. Rather, we do our best to make the citizen and resident partners to the MOH, to protect himself from contracting diabetes. Even if he is affected by the disease, we will protect him, Allah willing, by helping him to curb the complications of the disease. Diabetes, it goes without saying, is one of the most serious diseases," he stressed.
Regarding the problem of the fast food that causes many diseases including diabetes, and the role of the Ministry in treating this problem, Dr. Abdul-Aziz bin Saeed said, "So far this aspect is concerned, we depend on the citizen and the resident himself to be a decision-maker with his children. Parents have a basic role in this regard, as they are to blame in this case; as fast food is accessible to everyone, and it causes a lot of harm and entails only a few benefits. Hence, the citizen and the resident must immunize himself. However, he must be supported by information and facts either from the MOH, through its adopted programs, or through the researchers in the research centers and think tanks."
"To that end," he continued, "fast-food restaurants also share the burden; they are expected to change the ingredients of the food they are providing for their customers, in order for that food to be useful for children and all consumers. As the time passes, Allah willing, a partnership will be realized, leading to the improvement of the food provided for children." Dr. bin Saeed went on to add, "We have to deliver a message to those companies, and voice out are aspirations as to what is expected from them. Once such a partnership in place, therefore, the quality of the food they offer are likely be better, thus curbing obesity and the associated diseases."
The inauguration ceremony included also the speech of the Director of the National Program for Combating diabetes, Dr. Fatima bint Younis Al-Solail, in which she said, "At the precious directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, and His Royal Highness the Deputy Crown Prince, may Allah protect them, to preserve health and safety of the citizens and residents, and to provide them integrated and preventive health services. MOH has always been keen to give the patient top priority, and to set its motto: "Patient First" as the basis for the services it provides to the patient, thereby gaining his satisfaction." "To that effect," she continued, "MOH harnessed all its capabilities to consolidate the culture of respecting patients, and meeting his rights, in addition to boosting care for patients by all MOH staff, as well as the Ministry's health directorates, hospitals and healthcare centers."
In a similar fashion, she added, "We in the National Program for Combating diabetes, and as per the directives and close follow-up of His Excellency the Acting Minister of Health, are participating with the world countries observing the World Diabetes Day, under the theme: "Healthy life and diabetes". The main focus of this year's World Diabetes Day is to highlight the importance of having a healthy breakfast, and starting the change today for a better future. This day is marked every year on November 14th, as determined by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1991."
She further added that, "that day was selected due to the fact that it commemorates the birth of Frederick Banting, the scientist who discovered insulin. It was a discovery that had – and still has – a significant impact on the treatment of diabetes," she remarked, and further explained that "the World Diabetes Day is observed to increase public awareness about diabetes, and attract individuals and stakeholders at all levels. In addition, this day is a call for all to work together for combating the disease in a conscious, well-aware manner, in a time when the disease is actually on the increase."
Within the same vein, Dr. Al-Solail said that "diabetes is a chronic disease which affects humans in the different age stages, without difference between males and females. It represents a health, economic and social problem." She pointed out that, as per the statistics of the International Federation for Diabetes in 2013, about 382 million persons, aged 20 to 79 years old, are affected with the disease worldwide, amounting to 8.3% of the total world population (approximately 7 billion). She added that "the number is expected to double by 2035, to reach about 592 million persons, if the necessary measures and procedures are not adopted to confront it."
Over and above, the Director of the National Program for Combating Diabetes stressed that diabetes is reckoned one of the increasing health burdens in the Kingdom due to the aggravating risk factors causing it, such as the rise of obesity and intermarriage, in addition to the couch potato lifestyle. "It's rate of spread reached up to 13.4% in the age group 15 and above as per the survey of the Saudi Health Information for the year 2013, issued by the Ministry of Health. The Kingdom is also among the top ten countries in the world suffering the spread of the disease inside its territories as per the classification of the International Federation for Diabetes."
"That is why the Ministry, by means of its strategy as well as the National Project for Comprehensive and Integrated Health Care, has paid close attention to raising health awareness among Saudis on chronic diseases, including diabetes and its risk factors," she further expounded. "That is to be added to enhancing the early detection programs, and applying the integrated health care by way of the optimal use of resources aiming at reducing the morbidity, disability and mortality caused by these diseases and their complications, with the participation of all public and private sectors institutions within the concept of the partnership in the health of the community."
On his part, the representative of Novo Nordisk, the company sponsoring the activities, Mr. Fekrant Shroteria, said, "Hosting this event, which is sponsored by our company in collaboration with the MOH, is reckoned an important issue as the company contributed for over 90 years to the treatment of the diabetics. And we are still receiving inspiring ideas through our partnerships and projects, including the so-called diabetes village. In addition as partner of the international centers, we have become able to confront diabetes and combat it."
He added that, "on the occasion of the World Diabetes Day, we have to remind ourselves of the dangers of this disease and we have to remember that we have the knowledge, tools and determination to make the difference for the benefit of the diabetes patients. Eventually we will be able to win the war against this disease."
On his part, the marathon runner, Aloush Al-Shimmary, told the story of the 51–km-marathon he ran to reach the location of the event in the King Abdullah Park, saying "I would like to thank the Ministry of Health for the efforts exerted for combating diabetes and educate people to improve their lifestyle and their dietary habits in order to live a free-of-diseases life, Allah willing. He reiterated the importance of avoiding inactivity as well as lack of walking, and regular exercising, as the activity and walking have significant benefits to human health."
Following the opening ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health, Dr. Abdul-Aziz bin Saeed, cut the ribbon and launched balloons to the blue sky. He toured through the different sections of the event pavilion, in the company of the Director-General of Hereditary and Chronic Diseases Control and a number of MOH officials, and listened to a detailed explanation from Dr. Fatima bint Younis Al-Solail, the Director of the National Program for Combating diabetes. The visited sections included a section for basic information registration, two sections for the healthy nutrition, four sections for measuring intraday sugar level, one section for measuring cumulative sugar level. In this last section, Dr. Abdul-Aziz bin Saeed carried out a test to ascertain the extent and speed of the screening procedures. The pavilion included also two sections for health education, where the visitors are provided with the educational brochures, a section for measuring weight, height, waist, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure rate calculation a section for measuring the extent of body flexibility, muscles and fitness, as well as a section for kids including coloring, drawing and playing with the cartoon figures.
Dr. Bin Saeed concluded the tour by meeting the members of Saudi Bikers team who are cooperating with the National Program for Combating Diabetes, as their presence added to the attraction of the event.
He further honored those who participated in organizing the activities of the World Diabetes Day, including Saudi Organizer, Oak Company, Novo Nordisk Company, the National Center for Diabetes, the Director General of Parks in Riyadh Municipality, and the Director General of the National Program for Combating Diabetes.

Last Update : 18 November 2014 03:38 PM
Reading times :
Content Evaluation:

All Rights Reserved – Ministry of Health – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ©