Dubai: Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has launched the Lifestyle Clinics to provide a community-based health care model, which adopts a new style for prevention. The main focus of the clinic is to prevent non-communicable diseases.
The clinic is not dependent on drug prescription but extends beyond that to have a comprehensive behavioural, social and psychological care.
The Lifestyle Clinic, which is run by the DHA’s Primary Health Care Services Sector aims to provide prevention programmes for persons at risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
It also provides prevention programmes to persons with risk factors, such as those who are overweight and obese, are lacking in physical activity, consume unhealthy food, have a family history of diabetes, are suffering from psychological stress and are smokers.
Focus on non-communicable diseases
Manal Taryam, CEO of DHA’s Primary Health Care Services Sector said that the clinic is in line with the vision of the DHA’s vision towards a healthier and happier community.
She added that preventing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases will improve overall health and lead to a better quality of life in line with Dubai Plan 2021 to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases.
The Lifestyle Clinic services are available in Nad Al Hamar Health Centre and Al Barsha Health Centre, however, community members can visit any primary Healthcare Centres to be referred.
Dr Hanan Al Hammadi, Consultant and Acting Director of Health Affairs Department at the Primary Health Care Services Sector said that the Lifestyle Clinic comprises of family physicians, nurses, dieticians and health educators.
Those who visit the clinic will find greatly benefit from it as they will be seen by three specialists and get three services at once during each visit to the clinic such as family medicine, dietary services and health education clinic.
“During initial visits, customers will be assessed thoroughly for diabetes risk using the Diabetes Risk Questionnaire, cardiovascular risk using WHO CV Prediction risk chart and mental health status by using mental health questionnaire. Weight, height, body mass index, waist circumference, body composition for the percentage of fats and muscles are measured in first visit and during each follow-up visits. The Body Composition Analyser Machine is used to assess the percentage of fats and muscles. Accordingly, a management plan is created,” said Dr Al Hammadi.
She added that the goal of the Lifestyle Clinic is to change client’s behaviour to a healthy one that will become a part of their daily life. In a way that each clients’ routine will include increase in physical activity, healthy balanced diet with daily consumption of fruit and vegetables, proper night sleep, dealing properly with stress and drinking enough water. The healthcare team will also encourage family members to do the same changes as family members provide a support system for customers in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Clients attending appointments regularly and changing their lifestyle habits to healthy ones will have a remarkable outcome, she said.
Dr. Ayesha Al Olama, Head of Acute & Chronic Diseases Unit in PHC said the clinic was established in 2018 and saw a 70% decrease in visitors weight reduction and notated improved lifestyle changes.
She added that the Primary Health Care (PHC) centres routinely conduct national periodic check-up to all patients who are 18 years and above when they visit Family Medicine clinics. Assessments includes risks of non-communicable diseases. Patients, who are overweight, obese, have risk for diabetes or cardiovascular diseases will be referred to Lifestyle Clinic.
In addition, visitors can attend the Lifestyle Clinic by accessing the Hayati App and answering the questionnaire that will assess their risk for chronic diseases. Clients who will score moderate or above and will agree to attend the Lifestyle Clinic will be given a clinical appointment directly.
Dubai Fitness Challenge 30X30
The Lifestyle Clinic is also taking part in the Dubai Fitness Challenge 30X30, 2019 at Dubai Festival City. There will be dietitians, doctors, nurses and health educators available on site during the event. The Lifestyle Clinic customers are encouraged to visit the stand at the beginning, middle and end of the challenge for assessments and to encourage healthy lifestyle changes. In addition, to ensuring their participation in various healthy activities available during the Dubai Fitness Challenge. Clients are also encourage to attend healthy cooking sessions to raise their awareness about healthy cooking to further help in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Anyone who will visit the stand will have their DM risk assessment and body composition for percentage of fats and muscles. Accordingly, they will receive health education needed. Those who are at risk will be encouraged to attend further management plans at the Lifestyle Clinic.