Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), hosted a series of events throughout the month of November to raise diabetes awareness and encourage the community to adopt a lifestyle that promotes prevention of the disease. The drive follows a series of initiatives carried out in previous months by QBRI to increase the understanding of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
The diabetes awareness campaign, held in collaboration with the Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA), was well-timed with World Diabetes Day, which is recognized each year on November 14. Through the initiative, QBRI and QDA highlighted to the community the risk factors associated with the disease, health complications related to the condition, and how early screening can ensure healthy and improved long-term outcomes.
A ‘Join the Walk’ event held at Oxygen Park in Education City on November 9 provided an opportunity for participants to learn more about QBRI’s current and future areas of research in the field of diabetes.
Consecutively, an enjoyable and informative event took place at the Mall of Qatar on November 16, where visitors met with diabetes experts and researchers from the QBRI and QDA, who introduced attendees to the initiatives held in Qatar to tackle diabetes.
Dr. Omar El-Agnaf, acting executive director at QBRI, said: “Diabetes is a global epidemic and one of several diseases that are high on Qatar’s healthcare agenda. The research conducted at our institute aims to improve the level of healthcare in Qatar and shed light on the importance of diabetes prevention, early detection and treatment.
“To fight diabetes, it’s imperative that people are made aware of the negative health implications that stem from poor lifestyle choices. Our campaign aimed to make information about the disease more accessible across the community and help people make informed decisions about their health and way-of-life choices. Our institute has been tasked with addressing health challenges that are projected to be a cause of concern in Qatari society.”
On November 20, HBKU and the wider Qatar Foundation communities were invited to participate in a diabetes risk assessment session at the Researchery Building (formerly known as the HBKU Research Complex), where they had their blood sugar levels and blood pressure tested, along with their height and weight. Through a series of questions, participants had their current lifestyle habits evaluated and were given a risk projection of developing the disease.
QBRI is home to the Cancer Research Center, the Diabetes Research Center and the Neurological Disorders Research Center. The Diabetes Research Center serves as a catalyst to promote innovative research on diabetes and related metabolic disorders, with the aim of gaining fundamental knowledge to enhance the understanding of social, molecular and genetic causes of the disease.
QBRI is one of three premier research institutes under the umbrella of HBKU, each aiming to address Qatar’s grand challenges and provide relevant and robust data that is of use locally, regionally, and internationally.
HBKU was founded on the four key pillars of Innovation, Excellence, People, and Partners, and is committed to these values in all of its endeavors.