(2012), "Dubai - Diabetes Federation chief calls for better access to parks", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 25 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2012.06225caa.011Download as .RIS
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Dubai - Diabetes Federation chief calls for better access to parks
Article Type: News and views From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 25, Issue 3
Keywords: Health conscious economic development, Public healthcare, Chronic disease management
Dubai countries need better urban planning where everyone can access parks and areas to walk and exercise, president of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) said.
IDF President Jean Claude Mbanya said that while economic development had worked wonders in the region in the past two decades, governments had forgotten about health of their people.
“We have to now look into how we build our cites and streets,” he said, calling for “health conscious economic development”. Mbanya said that people in the region saw that everything western was good. “Then we found it was making our children obese, it was making our women obese, it was making our men obese.”
He said a Western lifestyle brought with it chronic diseases as high blood pressure and strokes. “This is just the tip of the iceberg” he said warning that some governments have still not put into place health programmes in schools, for pregnant women and young adults so that they do not develop the deadly life-long disease.
The IDF president said in some countries people with diabetes are discriminated against. “They can’t get jobs, they can’t get a driving licence.”
He said because fast-food manufacturers are part of this problem, they should be part of the solution and brought into this global fight against the disease. But he also blamed the parents of children, saying that it is because they find it easy to feed their children with junk food that childhood obesity was such a big problem [obesity and the resulting high cholesterol in the blood stream is a big risk factor for diabetes].
But Mbanya said the fight against diabetes is slowly being won. “How can you reverse in a year or two years what has taken decades to build up?” he said.
Speaking about the Dubai Diabetes Congress, he said more than 15,000 people across the globe met here for the global fight against the disease. “It is mind-blowing,” he said.
Earlier, he said holding the Congress in Dubai would give governments in the region political will to join in the battle against the debilitating disease and restructure their health care systems. The IDF chief said that in terms of prevalence of diabetes, out of the ten top countries, six are in the Gulf and the Mena (Middle East and North Africa) region.
He said a ten-year diabetes plan has been launched that looks at solutions, not problems. “We are calling for a multi-sectoral fight,’ he said, that attacks the epidemic from various angles. But he warned that making lifestyle changes was very difficult.
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