Between January 2016 and September 2017, over thirty thousand patients
received diabetes education at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).
According to Ms. Manal Othman, Director of Diabetes Education at HMC,
education provided to patients is individualized and focuses on daily
care as well as handling emergency situations.
individual has been diagnosed with diabetes, they need to start
treatment immediately. This means meeting with our team of diabetes
specialists, which includes doctors, dietitians, nurses, health
educators, and other members of our clinical team. Together, working
with the patient, we set a treatment plan that addresses medication,
diet, and exercise,” said Ms. Othman.
Depending on the type and
severity of their disease, patients may need to take insulin or other
diabetes medication. According to Ms. Othman, learning about diabetes
medication and other treatment options can be overwhelming for many
newly diagnosed patients.
“In addition to diet, Type 1 diabetics
are treated with insulin injections, while most Type 2 diabetics are
treated through diet and lifestyle modifications. However, some Type 2
diabetics and those with gestational diabetes may require oral drugs or
insulin. Learning how to use medication and how to manage blood sugar
levels can seem complex at first, so we work with the patient and their
family. For patients who require insulin, we teach them how to inject
themselves, how to store their medication, and how to dispose of
needles,” said Ms. Othman.
She went on to say that the diabetes
care team works closely with patients to set goals for maintaining their
blood sugar level and teach patients how to manage diabetic emergencies
and avoid complications.
"Although our priority is stabilizing
blood sugar levels and providing the support needed to manage the
condition daily, we also talk about complications and diabetic
emergencies. Chronic complications of diabetes can include heart attack,
stroke, loss of sight, kidney failure, and amputation. The care we
provide is supportive, but we are firm with our patients. We encourage
them to make healthy lifestyle choices, such as quitting smoking and
maintaining a healthy weight,” added Ms. Othman.
One patient who
has benefited from the care provided by the diabetes team at HMC is
60-year-old Mr. Jamal. Like thousands of other Type 2 diabetic patients,
was struggling to manage his blood sugar.
"I was diagnosed with
Type 2 diabetes 15 years ago. I was receiving regular care at my local
health center but I was referred to HMC when I began having problems
controlling my blood sugar level and with my feet. Working with a
consultant as well as a nutritionist, a foot care specialist, and a
diabetes educator, a treatment plan was developed which included
measuring my blood sugar level several times a day and making changes to
my diet. Within three months my sugar levels were stabilized. The team
at Hamad gave me the confidence I needed to manage my care and they
helped me understand the importance of nutrition and physical exercise,”
said Mr. Jamal.
In recognition of World Diabetes Day, HMC has
planned a full month of activities to highlight the importance of
diabetes awareness, education, and research. Find out more about HMC’s
diabetes awareness campaign and learn how to access a free diabetes
screening in Qatar by visiting hamad.qa.