There is an acute need to increase awareness about preventive healthcare in the Middle East to combat the spread of chronic lifestyle disease in the region, medical and industry experts opined at a recent healthcare event.
Speaking at the Preventive Healthcare Forum 2015, Dr. Samer Ellahham, chief quality officer, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, UAE, highlighted the GCC region’s healthcare challenges, including the rise of lifestyle related diseases and the need for a greater emphasis on preventative healthcare.
Ellahham called for a more holistic approach towards combating health challenges including educating the public, especially school going children, and the development of directed policies and procedures.
Ellahham also batted for the strengthening of public health functions and infrastructure, a review of current health systems and a shift from public health programmes through private sector involvement, to fight the growing challenge of chronic lifestyle diseases in the GCC.
His opinion was echoed by Dr. Abdulkarim Almuhanna, senior consultant- Health Informatics, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, KSA, who also highlighted the need for preventive healthcare to play a greater role in the region’s healthcare systems going forward.
“With chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity becoming a major pandemic, ensuring the compliance of these patients with preventive measures will play a pivotal role in improving the population’s health and curbing costly treatment caused by neglecting prevention and early treatment,” he said at the event, which was held by Toshiba, one of the sponsors of Arab Health, in collaboration with Gulf Business.
Toshiba, one of the major players in medical technology, which specialises in cutting-edge diagnostic equipment, is currently expanding its healthcare business in the region.
“Advancement in medical technology and communication when deployed for preventive healthcare will allow monitoring of chronic patients and provide targeted services and education to these patients,” added Almuhanna.