Joslin Diabetes Center Opens Affiliate in Dubai
New Center Aims to Improve Health of People with Diabetes in the Emirate
BOSTON – April 27, 2009 – Expanding its reach in the fight against the global diabetes epidemic, Joslin Diabetes Center today announced the opening of the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
Collaborating with experts from the DHA and Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at BIDMC, Joslin aims to improve the health of people with diabetes in the Emirate.
“Dubai has a huge diabetes problem,” said Antoine Kaldany, M.D., Director of International Programs at Joslin. “According to the World Health Organization, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), of which the city-state of Dubai is part, has the second highest rate of diabetes in the world.”
In fact, one in four citizens of the UAE has diabetes and approximately forty percent of the nation’s health care budget is spent on the disease.
The Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at the DHA is located on the campus of Al Wasl Hospital. Opened under an agreement with the Dubai government, the Affiliate features a state-of-the-art treatment facility for patients with diabetes and will focus on prevention, education, lifestyle management and podiatry, as well as early detection of complications for patients ages 18 and older. A pediatric division is planned for the future.
“Patients are at the center of the Joslin care model, so the roster of clinical staff at the Dubai Affiliate has been built to mirror the multi-disciplined approach of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston,” said Judy Goodwin, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Joslin Diabetes Center.
Clinicians at the Affiliate include four U.S.-board certified endocrinologists, seven diabetes educators, a podiatrist, a physiotherapist and a mental health counselor.
The new affiliate’s mission for combating the diabetes epidemic in Dubai is three-fold. It involves educating both patients and physicians and using sophisticated technology to both deliver care and measure results, according to Hamed Farooqi, M.D., Medical Director of the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at the DHA.
“First, we will teach patients the importance of diabetes self-management,” said Farooqi.
“Second, we are setting up a diabetes training program for primary care doctors from all public as well as private clinics in Dubai, and will set UAE-wide standards for the prevention of diabetes,” Farooqi continued. “Third, we intend to bring in a software platform to track quality of care, clinical outcomes, physician education and patient compliance.”
Kaldany noted that Dubai is facing an epidemic of obesity, which directly impacts rates of type 2 diabetes, and shared that the nation has an “alarming” rate of childhood obesity as well.
“The DHA expects a major increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes in years to come due to the high incidence of childhood obesity coupled with a relatively high birth rate and a young population,” he said.
Goodwin added, “With a global epidemic on our doorstep, there has never been a more critical time for Joslin and its partners to apply their wealth of talent and breadth of services to conquering diabetes. It is predicted that by 2025, up to 380 million people globally will have diabetes.”