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CAIRO – 14 November 2017: The Ministry of Health and Population, represented by the National Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology, launched an awareness campaign for diabetic patients and their families. This campaign coincides with World Diabetes Day, which is held on November 14 of each year.
Dean of the Diabetes Institute Hesham Al-Hafnawi said that the campaign includes seminars and educational trips for diabetic patients as well as a launch of free medical convoys.
Hafnawi added that an educational day was held for the patients and their relatives this morning at the institute's lecture hall. Free blood tests were also conducted for the patients and nutritious meals were distributed among them, pointing out that another seminar will be held to raise awareness regarding the disease on Wednesday, November 22 at Cairo University’s Faculty of Nursing.
Lectures on early detection of diabetes and its complications with free blood tests for all attendees will also take place.
Hafnawi noted that two treatment convoys will be launched to diagnose diabetes and provide free treatment on November 16 at Al-Ahrar hospital in Al-Sharqia. Another one will be held on December 7 at Qaft Hospital in Qena followed by a scientific day for doctors on how to apply the protocols of the global treatment of diabetes type I and II.
An educational recreational trip for diabetic children will be held on Thursday, November 23. Children will learn to coexist safely with diabetes, as well as participate in recreational sports competitions, eat at food stalls and undergo free diabetes blood analyzers that will be distributed to sick children. At the end of the day, they will return to the institute.
Throughout the whole day, children will be accompanied by a medical team carrying out follow-ups.
Khaled Megahed, the Ministry of Health and Population’s official spokesperson, announced that the professional diploma on diabetes in Egyptian universities, which is in collaboration with the National Institute of Diabetes, has begun since November 8. The certificate identifies its holder as a diabetes specialist.
"This certificate is considered the first of its kind in Egypt," said Megahed.
The rate of diabetes in Egypt has significantly increased, exceeding international rates, according to participants in the fourth Arab Diabetes forum.
“Egypt is now ranked the eighth highest in the world in terms of the disease. Diabetes in Egypt rose to 16.5 million people, half of which do not know they suffer from this disease, while the other half receives treatment. The disease has risen 83 percent over the past 15 years, which is a very large increase compared to international rates,” said Megahed.
The number of people suffering from diabetes around the world is 360 million and is expected to increase to 500 million by 2030. The Middle East and the Arab region are the countries with the highest rate of diabetes, specifically Egypt and the Gulf countries.
The increase of the disease is attributed mainly to the unhealthy lifestyles and poor nutritional habits, in addition to genetic factors.
Inas Shaltout, professor of diabetes at Kasr Al-Ain University and head of the Arab Diabetes Association, said that the number of diabetic people in Egypt, according to the statistics of 2015, is about 8 million Egyptians.
She noted that the expected numbers in Egypt, according to the International Federation of Diabetes, will reach 15 million people by 2040, because it will double if the state does not exert efforts, in cooperation with concerned parties, to manage the spread of diabetes.
Women who have already had gestational diabetes, ovarian calcification, pancreatitis, pancreatic surgery, who take certain drugs such as "cortisone," or are classified as obese are more susceptible to diabetes, and they have to test for diabetes each year after the age of forty, and every three years before the age of forty.