To mark the occasion of World Diabetes Day 2014, the Qatar Diabetes Association – Qatar Foundation join efforts with diabetes associations and patients from across the Middle East to discuss the need of social support and patient-to-patient communication with a group of My Diabetes Story patient ambassadors from the Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan.
Answering the need for increased patient-to-patient communication, the launch of My Diabetes Story, an online patient community endorsed by leading diabetes associations and Sanofi, was announced during the event. Led by diabetics, the community offers a platform where patients will be able to discuss the issues that matter the most to them and share tips and recommendations on how to manage their condition.
During the event held in Dubai, patient ambassadors and associations alike highlighted the need for such platforms to provide better diabetes life management catering to the 22.9% percent of the population in Qatar who live with the disease. Recent figures by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimate that the incidence of diabetes is expected to rise from 34.6 million in 2013 to 67.9 million by 2035 in the Middle East, which equates to a 96 percent increase in the MENA region.
Dr. Abdulla Al Hamaq, Executive Director of the Qatar Diabetes Association – Qatar Foundation, said “We are pleased to meet with the diabetes ambassadors and heads of diabetes associations to share our experiences, ideas and discuss ways that we can use to support diabetics in the Middle East. We have realized the importance of patient-to-patient communication and social support for people with diabetes. We aim to provide them with comprehensive solutions for their daily struggle with diabetes.