Doha, 16 January, 2024: The Minister of Public Health Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari officially opened the Qatar Diabetes Research Center at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), also launching the landmark Qatar Diabetes Prevention Program.
The Qatar Diabetes Prevention Program the region’s largest, research-based program dedicated to preventing diabetes. It is a public sector partnership designed to prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 Diabetes amongst citizens and residents of Qatar. This five-year program has been funded by the Qatar Research Development and Innovation Council and HMC’s Academic Health System.
In-kind contributions have also been made by the Ministry of Public Health, Primary Health Care Corporation, Qatar University, Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa University through Qatar Biomedical Research Institute and Qatar Computing Research Institute and Qatar Diabetes Association.
Qatar Diabetes Research Center’s work will play a significant role in addressing diabetes-related health challenges. The Center will house the region-leading prevention program to create a patient-centered approach to type 2 diabetes and strategies for preventing the disease, as well as enable the community to make informed decisions, change behaviours, reduce their risk, and improve their overall health.
The Qatar Diabetes Research Center, located at HMC’s Doha campus next to the Surgical Specialty Center, is equipped with multiple examination and procedure rooms and will be staffed by around 30 research assistants, physicians, and research coordinators all of whom will launch the Qatar Diabetes Prevention Program.
The research subjects (patients) will be selected through the National Diabetes Screening Program which is being performed by the Primary Healthcare Centers for the Qatar National Diabetes Strategy. Around 40,000 subjects will be called as part of this and it is anticipated that 4000 subjects will be enrolled.
Prof. Jassim Al-Suwaidi, Chief of Scientific, Academic and Faculty Affairs-HMC said: “The four clinical trials being undertaken by the Qatar Diabetes Prevention Program are led by investigators from the Qatar Metabolic Institute (QMI) of the HMC Academic Health System (AHS) and this research is co-funded by AHS; which illustrates our support for diabetes research in Qatar.”
Professor Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra, Qatar Diabetes Prevention Program Director said the program would develop a personalized approach to type 2 diabetes and its prevention.
“The Qatar Diabetes Research Center team will identify genetic and molecular factors associated with pre-diabetes, in turn helping to target individuals at increased risk who could benefit from early intervention. The Qatar Diabetes Prevention Program will be running four clinical trials and will be focused on outcomes including preventing gestational diabetes, preventing, and reversing Type 2 diabetes and personalized care ” Professor Abou-Samra said.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that may start 'silently' without symptoms but can progress to serious health complications if not prevented and managed early and properly. The condition is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation globally and in the region. It is also a risk factor in conditions including Alzheimer’s and dementia.