The presentations at the half day diabetic forum at the Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic Centre on Tuesday 14th November 2017, to mark World Diabetes Day, focused on person-centered integrated management of diabetes and how to give patients a more active role in the management of their condition.

President Danny Faure, Jean Paul Adam, the Minister for Health,  and the other members of the Management team of the Ministry of health graced the event with their presence.

Diabetes management staff of the Ministry presented two new tools, namely, the National Integrated Pathway of Care for Diabetes and the Diabetic Passport. The Diabetic Passport contains medical information of a patient, such as treatment details, blood sugar levels and target goals. It is currently being piloted, by some patients who have been given the chance to try it out, until March 2018. Following this it will go through evaluation and possible amendments. If it is successful in helping patients keep track of developments of their condition, it will be implemented on a full scale by World Diabetes Day 2018.

The Ministry of Health also developed a booklet titled “Mon Dyabet, Mon Responsabilite, containing useful guidelines on how to remain healthy while living with diabetes. At the forum, President Faure presented the booklet to three people who are living with diabetes.

During his impromptu address, President Faure strengthened his support to the health theme ‘My Health, My Responsibility’.

“I encourage our citizens to rally behind this theme and to live by it,” he said.

The President went on to share his personal experience regarding adopting a healthier lifestyle, and his intention to involve different government sectors in physical activity during a few minutes of working hours and after work hours from the beginning of next year.

An active discussion regarding the control of diabetes at home was the highlight of the second half of the forum. A panel consisting of a medical practitioner, a dentist, a nutritionist, a haemodialysis nurse, and three diabetic patients led the discussion, which focused on challenges faced by patients living with diabetes.

Patients raised concerns regarding inconsistencies in certain advice given by health care professionals, the difficulty in giving up certain foods, and the lack of platform to discuss their issues with other diabetic patients who may be going through similar difficulties.

The forum concluded with presentation of certificates to focal nurses for diabetes who completed a training in monitoring and prevention of complications in diabetic patients admitted to hospital. This training was funded by the World Health Organization.