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Bahrain plans $2.5m diabetes study centre

Manama, January 14, 2008

Bahraini health officials have announced plans to set up a new BD1-million ($2.5 million) diabetes education centre to focus on diabetes education and rehabilitation.


The announcement on the new centre being planned at A'ali came as a 26-year-old diabetic woman who lost both her feet and a kidney for neglecting her condition urged Bahrainis to listen to their doctor.


It was announced by Health Ministry's school health services chief Dr Mariam Harmas, who said the three-storey centre would include a swimming pool, a gym and the offices of the Bahrain Diabetes Society (BDS).


Sponsors are currently being sought for the project, which was announced along with figures that show the number of people in Bahrain suffering from type one (insulin dependent) diabetes has more than doubled since 1993.


Bahrain has the highest incidences of diabetes in the region and figures are increasing, warned Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) consultant paediatrician, endocrinologist and diabetologist Dr Mansoor Rajab.


In 1993, he said type one diabetes affected seven to eight people per 100,000, but now there are 20 in every 100,000 with the condition.


He added there were now 1,000 children in Bahrain with type one diabetes.


Meanwhile, type two diabetes (non-insulin dependent) is also increasing in children as a result of sedentary lifestyles and poor diets, he said.


In adults, type one and type two diabetes now affects around 25 per cent of men and 35 per cent of women, revealed Dr Rajab.


The alarming figures were discussed during a visit by Arab Children Health Congress (ACHC) 2007 ambassador Habiba Al Tawqi, who has been in Bahrain since Saturday.


She has been speaking to diabetic children about the importance of controlling their illness through medication and a healthy lifestyle.


Al Tawqi has so far met children from the Bahrain Diabetes Society (BDS) and various schools, but will today visit diabetic children at SMC.


She lost both her feet and a kidney because she was inconsistent with her medication and neglected her diet.


The Omani tourism graduate has been diabetic since she was two-years-old, but only developed problems in 1998 when she started rebelling against her doctors and parents' advice.


Tags: Bahrain | insulin | project | kidney | diabetes education centre | BDS | ACHC |

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