Abu Dhabi: By 2030, 51.7 million people from the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) will suffer from diabetes, a panel of experts from around the region noted during a two-day diabetes brainstorming and knowledge sharing session, entitled Devoted.

"The UAE ranks second on the International Diabetes Federation's list of top ten countries where diabetes is widespread, with 18.7 per cent of the population suffering from the disease," Dr Abdul Razzaq Ali Al Madani, Consultant Physician, Endocrinologist and Head of the Emirates Diabetes Society said. "In 2010, the UAE's mean expenditure per person with diabetes will be $1,067 [Dh3,917]. That is, the government will spend approximately that amount per year in terms of medical treatment and services for those with diabetes. "In Afghanistan the amount is $33 and in the US the amount jumps to $7,383 per person," he added.

There are many factors contributing to the rise in people suffering from diabetes, among them, ease of access to fast food outlets, lack of outdoor areas where adults and children can enjoy activities and not enough awareness about the disease. To address these issues, the Action Plan for the Control of Diabetes in the GCC 2009-2018 was established.


The 1st International Abu Dhabi Diabetes Congress begins today and will continue until tomorrow. The event, supported by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi and the European Association of the Study of Diabetes will see international and regional experts discuss latest diabetes studies.