30pc of Bahrain’s children 'in diabetes risk'
Manama, January 23, 2012
More than 30 per cent of Bahrain's children could be at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes due to poor diet and lack of exercise, according to a study.
The preliminary results of a local study were announced yesterday (January 22) at the Rotary Club of Manama's weekly meeting at the Gulf Hotel.
The study is being carried out in 20 schools across the country to identify children, aged six to 13, who might be at risk of developing diabetes.
It is part of the club's nationwide campaign to combat and raise awareness of the disease, and is being conducted by Al Kindi Specialised Hospital and supported by the Education and Health ministries as well as the Bahrain Diabetes Society.
The BD40,000 ($106,000) initiative includes the funding of the study and a fully-equipped diabetes mobile unit, which will provide testing, counselling and education to villages, schools and clubs. Two schools have taken part in the research so far, which was launched at the beginning of the year.
"From the two schools, we found about 30 per cent to 35 per cent students are at risk of diabetes," said hospital chief executive and periodontal medicine consultant Dr Ebtisam Al Dallal.
"Out of the 30 per cent, something like 10 per cent have Type 1 diabetes, which is 3 per cent to 4 per cent of the whole group.
"These are provisional results and we still haven't been to private schools," Dr Al Dallal added. "These families need education on diet and exercise because the main cause for more children developing diabetes is fast-food and children are not really moving around these days," Dr Al Dallal said.
Chosen schools were asked to complete questionnaires for each student and based on the results, children at risk were tested for the condition. An awareness campaign is also being launched alongside the study to educate parents on healthy eating and exercise.
Largest "We are conducting the study in four schools in each governorate, one private and three government schools," said Dr Al Dallal.
"There are about 600 to 700 students in each school and we test only those at risk. Those children detected as having diabetes are provided with education material and data from the society and the Health Ministry is treating them.
"This is one of the largest projects in Bahrain in healthcare on the private sector level," Dr Al Dallal added. "With this early detection we will avoid a lot of problems for these children if they receive help early."
During yesterday's event, the club presented certificates of thanks to Dr Al Dallal, Health Ministry.
Under-Secretary Aysha Jaber, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland-Medical University of Bahrain president, former health minister Dr Faisal Al Mousawi and others involved in the national campaign.
"Bahrain has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world," said club president Dr Bashar Ahmadi. "In any family at least one or two will have the condition. This condition is affecting children that aren't diagnosed until late.”
"That is why we wanted to do a survey and give them recommendations on how they need to change their lifestyles. The idea for the mobile van is the first of its kind in the world," he added. – TradeArabia News Service