UHD observes World Diabetes Day: seminar, awareness campaign and free tests


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Colleges of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Human Development organised several activities to mark World Diabetes Day, November 14th. The activities were a joint seminar on diabetes, an awareness campaign and free blood sugar tests for students on campus and visitors at Family Mall.

The seminar was held at Professor Dr Ali Qaradaghi Hall. Prof. Dr Mohammed Omer Mohammed, a consultant gastroenterologist and lecturer at Sulaimani University, presented many important points about diabetes. He mentioned that the rate is rising globally – currently, it stands at 540 million people but it is expected to go up to nearly 800 million by the middle of this century – and the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) will have a big share of that number. The theme of this year is ‘Access to Diabetes Care’ which means that is it important to provide health care for diabetes patients in every country, but it is more important to know the risks and prevent the disease from happening or developing.

Dr Mohammed talked about the main symptoms of diabetes which are frequent feelings of thirstiness and hungriness, urinating too much, loss of weight, tingling sensation, feeling fatigued, and late healing of skin injuries. The effects of diabetes on the patient’s body are developing the risk of heart attack, vessel blockage, vision deterioration and possible blindness, and weaknesses in the legs. He warned against stress which can be a precipitating factor of diabetes for many people, especially old people.

Dr Bushra Jabbar Hama-Rasheed, Head of the Nursing Department at UHD, was the second presenter in the seminar. She focused on food and its connection to diabetes, in fact to most diseases, and said that modifying what to eat and how much is the primary solution to diabetes. She referred to being overweight or obese as a dangerous risk factor for diabetes. She advised having meals on time, eating lots of vegetables, reducing sugar intake per day, limiting fried and fast food, and taking curcumin and cinnamon with food.

At the end of the two presentations, a short video was played on the causes and risks of diabetes. It was prepared by students of both Nursing and Health Sciences colleges.

Students also contributed to the observance of World Diabetes Day with another activity; organising awareness campaigns and providing free blood sugar tests on campus and for visitors at Family Mall, a main shopping mall in Sulaymaniyah. They gave out free leaflets with information about diabetes, weighed, measured the height and tested volunteers for blood sugar levels. Many students and visitors benefitted from the service.

On another note, the UHD President Prof. Dr Mariwan Ahmed Rasheed, in the presence of the university’s Presidential Council, met Prof. Dr Mohammed in his office and valued his coming to UHD and participating in the event. He presented a UHD glass plaque to him. Dr Muhammad thanked the president for his warm welcome and hospitality and said that he was glad to participate in the event and do something for the beloved students of UHD.  

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