Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) treated more than 266,000 patients with diabetes from the period between January 2019 to October 2020. Around one million patients visited the various healthcare facilities of SEHA during this period to receive treatment, diagnosis, and gain knowledge about managing the disease of diabetes. In addition, SEHA also conducted a wide range of educational campaigns for diabetic patients in Abu Dhabi to increase their awareness about managing chronic illnesses.
In 2019, around 152,245 diabetic patients received treatment in SEHA's healthcare facilities, while 113,796 patients were treated from January to October 2020. Moreover, 590,302 people visited SEHA facilities in 2019, while there were 391,951 visits from January to October 2020.
On the occasion of World Diabetes Day, Aysha Al Mehri, Group Chief Nursing Officer, Corporate Nursing, SEHA, asserted that SEHA is celebrating and marking the day under the theme ‘Nurses make a difference', with the aim of recognising the crucial role played by nurses in treating patients suffering from diabetes.
"Nurses work side by side with other multidisciplinary teams to help diabetic patients with clinical management plans, learn to cope with the disease, avoid its complications and provide their families with the educational resources to ensure the best outcomes," she added.
Al Mehri noted that SEHA's nursing team drives various community campaigns to promote the significance of leading a healthy lifestyle in a bid to prevent the disease and various risk factors associated with developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, SEHA's nursing teams also manage the home delivery of prescribed medications to patients on a regular basis in order to limit their exposure COVID-19.
"Nurses provide the patients with the appropriate counselling and reiterated the importance of taking prescribed medications," Al Mehri stated.
She spoke about various investments made by SEHA in enhancing the infrastructure in their facilities with the latest diagnostic technologies and equipment for the treatment of diabetes and any other conditions caused by the disease. For instance, facilities are using blood glucose meters and advanced insulin pumps along with various specialised diabetes monitoring equipment to ensure the provision of the best possible treatment to every diabetic patient.
Dr. Omar Naseeb Al-Jabri, Chief Medical Officer, Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS) at SEHA, underlined that AHS uses the latest innovations to treat patients with diabetes, including Sudoscan, which takes around three minutes to analyse the degree of impact of nerve damage using a painless procedure. Another technique used by the AHS is the ankle-brachial index test which is a rapid non-invasive method to check for peripheral artery disease (PAD), as well as specialist cameras to detect early signs of retinopathy, which is significantly any harm caused to the eye's retina. Dr Al-Jabri explained that PAD, nerve damage and retinopathy are complications related to diabetes.
"Under the medication home delivery service, the family medicine practitioner is responsible for evaluating the condition during routine follow-ups," he added.
Dr Al-Jabri affirmed that AHS facilities provided necessary treatment to its 10,079 diabetic patients even as the healthcare sector is grappling with COVID-19 pandemic-related challenges. In line with the medication home delivery service, AHS facilities conducted 28,570 examinations on the feet of diabetic patients.
According to Dr.Nahed Ahmed Balalaa, Chair of the Outpatient Department and Head of the General Surgery Department, Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC), the medical facility has a specialised Diabetes and Endocrinology Clinic which manages the needs of diabetic patients who are treated by an integrated team of experienced consultant endocrinologists and highly-qualified diabetes specialists. SSMC is the largest hospital in UAE for serious and complex care. It is a joint venture partnership between SEHA and Mayo Clinic. Since its launch in January 2020, around 5,000 patients have received treatment in the clinic with the help of their state-of-the-art treatments for diabetic patients, latest medications and innovative delivery of insulin.
Dr Balalaa noted that the clinic also offers prenatal counselling for pregnant women through its joint care model of early detection combined with multidisciplinary care which was introduced by Mayo Clinic.
Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) is equipped with a dedicated centre for the treatment of diabetic patients named as the SKMC Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology. It consists of an expert team of diabetic and endocrinology disease specialists and consultants who provide state-of-the-art programmes for the treatment of the disease. In addition to this, the centre is equipped with paediatric capabilities under the guidance of a team of experienced doctors and nurses.
Corniche Hospital has also treated 1,100 female patients diagnosed with gestational diabetes since the start of 2020 and up until the end of October.
"At Corniche Hospital, we treat mothers with gestational diabetes at clinics which join the efforts of obstetrics and gynaecology consultants, internal medicine specialists, nutritionists and a specialised team of nurses," Dr. Bashir Taha Salih, Consultant and Chair of Obstetric Medicine Department, Corniche Hospital noted.
Furthermore, Tawam Hospital uses the latest diagnostic technology to treat diabetic patients in its Diabetes Centre. Every month, the centre treats around 5,000 patients, including pregnant women and children. At Tawam, in-patients also benefit from various capabilities provided by the centre.
Al Dhafra Hospitals works closely with patients and their families to provide specialised care for managing diabetes. The facility treats the patients using regular follows up visits and enhancing their awareness about the disease. At the same time, the facility uses various techniques to teach patients about managing hypoglycaemia or high blood sugar. At Al Dhafra Hospitals, diabetic patients are referred to its Ophthalmology clinic for regular medical monitoring and examinations in line with its efforts to mitigate the impact of diabetes and ensure early diagnosis of any complication related to the disease.