“New drugs have changed the approach to diabetes management”
Dr Yasmeen Ajaz, Specialist Edocrinologist, Medcare, discusses the treatments available at the hospital and how the future of diabetes care looks like in the UAE
How is Medcare supporting Access to Diabetes Care, the theme for World Diabetes Day?
On World Diabetes Day, Medcare has introduced a low-cost diabetic package, which will be for screening and treating type 2 diabetes, for those who can’t afford a comprehensive diabetes check. This package will include a check-up with the specialist and the necessary investigation to see the control of diabetes and its complications. This package will be available for whole month of November. This will be in accordance with the theme of World Diabetes Day — Access to Diabetes Care.
Medcare has a special Diabetes Management/Control Programme. What is the goal of the programme and how much has been achieved?
We are in the process of starting Endocrine Centre of Excellence, wherein, we will offer a comprehensive one-stop management of diabetes and its complications. This includes a comprehensive check-up by a diabetes specialist, cardiologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist, dietician and a foot care specialist. This will save the time of the patient and will ensure full treatment under one roof. This will also facilitate adherence to treatment.
Do you think the landscape for treating people with diabetes has changed permanently and if so, why?
With the new guidelines, the treatment of diabetes has changed and now older medications have gone down the list. Drugs, which are cardio-protective and kidney-friendly have come up. These newer medications prevent the risk of heart attacks and kidney failure in patients with diabetes. Newer insulins, smart insulin pumps, and weight loss surgeries have been a blessing in the management of diabetes.
Diabetes treatment and approaches have changed a lot in recent years. What have been the single, greatest changes in your opinion?
The single greatest change in my mind is drugs, which treat diabetes and simultaneously help to protect your heart and kidneys. These medications have galvanised the treatment protocols in diabetes and in the last few years and have prompted new guidelines for diabetes management.
How do you think the future of diabetes care will develop in the UAE?
The future of diabetes care in the UAE looks very promising with the Centre of Excellence in diabetes coming up. We saw lots of events for mass education of diabetes, exercise and diet. A lot of cafés are encouraging healthy items, mentioning calorie counts of the food. If you see the data, UAE has a prevalence rate of diabetes around 16.3 per cent (IDF-2019). The country is trying its best to educate the public about the measures to decrease the occurence of diabetes.