Kingdom joins world in marking Diabetes Day
The Ministry of Health launched a nationwide awareness campaign to combat diabetes on the World Diabetes Day on Saturday.
This year’s World Diabetes Day is under the theme “Healthy Living and Diabetes,” and is observed worldwide by over 200 member associations of the International Diabetes Federation in more than 160 countries and territories, all member states of the United Nations, as well as by other associations and organizations, companies, health care professionals and people living with diabetes and their families.
Inaugurating the program at the King Abdullah Park in Malaz on Saturday, Dr. Abdul-Aziz bin Saeed, Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health, said the national program conducted in cooperation with private sector organizations, is aimed at reducing the number of diabetic patients in the Kingdom.
According to a 2013 report by the Saudi Health Ministry, about 25 percent of Saudis are diabetics and the figure may rise further because of obesity and lifestyle. The report said that diabetes is more prevalent among older people and about 1.2 million Saudi men and one million women are diabetics.
The deputy minister said the program conducted in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) is for preventive measures as well as treatment of the disease in its early stage. He said that people should see their doctors before the disease becomes very serious. “Early treatment will solve several complications related to the disease.”
To mark the occasion, the Kingdom Tower in Riyadh, a major landmark in the Saudi capital, was illuminated in blue, the color of the circle in the logo for diabetes — signifying the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes pandemic.