As Saudi Arabia’s diabetes rate continues to soar, the country has come up with an innovative way of trying to lower the figures.
Statistics published recently by the International Diabetes Federation have shown that the cost of treating each diabetes patient is in excess of $1100 each year, whilst it results in over 23,000 deaths annually. With Saudi’s population on the rise the cost of diabetes to the country could become crippling.
Whilst Type 1 diabetes is hereditary type 2, which is related closely to lifestyle issues like a poor diet, smoking and lack of exercise, is far more common in the country. This can make education key in preventing people from developing the illness, or in preventing those already suffering from the condition developing further related complications.
In order to try and bring prevention and treatment of diabetes to a larger audience various organisations have started organising pop-up diabetes clinics, which tour some of the suburbs of the country’s major cities.
Mecca was the first area to really benefit from this development, with non profit group the Al-Shifa Welfare Society touring the residential areas offering people with diabetes help, advice, tests and even medical procedures.
The mobile clinic - which resembles both an ambulance and a caravan - is believed to be the first purpose built mobile diabetes centre in the world, and it boasts four separate clinics covering the various health issues commonly experienced by diabetics.
Of the four clinics in the vehicle the largest is the general clinic, where patients can be tested for diabetes, hypertension and other lifestyle related conditions. Along with this there is a foot clinic for patients suffering from diabetes related foot issues, and both ophthalmology and dentistry clinics.
Many people may not consider a move to Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom can often be overshadowed by neighbouring Qatar, Bahrain and The UAE. The country is unique, and does not suit everyone, however it does boast a high quality, well funded and well staffed healthcare system and some of the most generous tax-free salary packages in the world.
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