A woman undergoes a blood test for diabetes. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: More than 9,000 free tests worth Dh2 million and free consultations are being conducted by Aster Hospitals and clinics for early detection and prevention of diabetes throughout the UAE, beginning November 17. The week-long campaign has been initiated by Aster Volunteers, the corporate social responsibility arm of Aster DM Healthcare, is being launched as part of their Diabetes Awareness Week campaign and is being conducted in association with Abbott, Aster Hospitals and Clinics and Medcare Hospitals and Medical Centres. The campaign is being launched as part of World Diabetes Day, which was on November 14.

Many diabetes cases in the UAE are left undiagnosed and people do not go in for tests because they have no symptoms. Doctors estimate that only one out of five people can spot the symptoms of diabetes and in many cases, it has been seen that the disease progresses to an advanced stage by the time it is diagnosed.

Poor blood sugar control over a period of time can be detected by the HbA1c test and it not only provides a reliable measure of chronic diabetes but also correlates well with the risk of long-term complications with diabetes.

There is also a common misconception that diabetes only affects the elderly or those with poor lifestyle choices. During the current pandemic, when people with diabetes are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19, early detection of the disease and its control are crucial. The Aster Volunteers team, in this week-long campaign, will work towards debunking these myths and offer free diabetes HbA1c tests to residents. The tests will be conducted at designated centres across the UAE, maintaining the highest COVID-19 safety protocols.

Read more

Commenting on the initiative, Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director, Aster DM Healthcare, said: “Encouraging people to go in for preventive health screening during the COVID-19 pandemic can help detect diabetes and prevent a large number of deaths due to the virus especially in diabetics.”