Host Lachlan Kitchen with guest Dr Ali Al Dibbiat

As schools and offices in the UAE see a spike in flu cases, Gulf News has joined hands with Pfizer to launch a very timely eight-part podcast series Know Plan Go, which delves into protection from viral respiratory infections. The fourth podcast series from agnc3 by Gulf News promises to be an essential resource for enhancing public awareness and understanding the connection between viral respiratory infections and pre-existing chronic conditions.


In the first episode, How diabetes increases your risk of viral respiratory infections, which releases tomorrow, we sit down with Dr Ali Al Dibbiat, a renowned consultant endocrinologist with over two decades of clinical experience. The conversation explores the vulnerability of individuals with diabetes to viral respiratory infections and discusses vital factors and preventive strategies. Dr Ali explains that uncontrolled blood sugar levels weaken the immune system, making the body susceptible to infections. He notes that factors such as the duration of diabetes and poor sugar control play a significant role in this heightened risk.

For those who suspect exposure to a viral respiratory infection, Dr Ali advises against worrying. “Don't panic, you still have an immune system, and that immune system is working maybe a little bit weaker than otherwise, but it is working, so make sure that your sugar is good and well controlled. Take your medications on time. Try to lessen the stress on your system,” he says. Finally, for everyone, regardless of age or underlying conditions, he offers three essential tips to reduce the risk of viral respiratory infections: embrace a healthy lifestyle, avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking, prioritise regular exercise, and stay up to date with vaccinations.

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, and this podcast series aims to equip listeners with the knowledge and strategies to protect themselves and their loved ones from viral respiratory infections.

Episode 1 drops tomorrow. Tune into the series wherever you listen to your podcasts. The entire Know Plan Go vodcast series will also be available at