ABU DHABI // A specialist branch of a prominent diabetes centre will open in Zayed Sports City to meet an increased demand for services as awareness of the disease improves.
The new branch of Imperial College London Diabetes Centre will have 70 staff once fully operational and will include services for pregnancy and care before and after bariatric – obesity – operations.
It will be located at its sister hospital, Healthpoint.
Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi government-owned investment company, made the announcement about the expansion on Sunday during an event to mark a decade since the diabetes centre opened in the emirate.
The specialist branch will help provide continual care for patients undergoing bariatric surgery at Healthpoint, and services such as cardiology, by referral. The move will help to address complications related to diabetes that demand more continuous care and easier referral, Mubadala said.
The centre also has branches in Abu Dhabi city on Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, beside Zayed Military Hospital, and in Al Ain beside Tawam Hospital.
Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, deputy group chief executive as well as emerging sectors chief executive at Mubadala, said the goal is to help realise the emirate’s goal of creating a world-class healthcare sector.
“The new [Zayed Sports City] branch is the latest demonstration of our commitment to delivering cutting-edge treatment options for our patients,” he said.
Maha Barakat, director general of the Health Authority Abu Dhabi, said Haad and the diabetes centre are working together to confront the disease and create a healthier Abu Dhabi, “from treatment to public health campaigns to research efforts and diabetes education in a holistic, well-rounded way”.
“The new branch is an important addition to the community’s efforts to tackle diabetes, a reflection of how far we have come in tackling diabetes, and we look forward to working with everyone there,” she said.
The centre has had “an enormous impact in a relatively short period of time”, said Suhail Al Ansari, chairman of the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre and executive director of Mubadala Healthcare.
The new branch is “a true reflection of how much we strive for a sustainable network of specialist healthcare facilities”, he said.
The centre has worked with more than a million people through treatment, prevention, research, education and awareness programmes, Mubadala said.
Nearly one in five people – 19.3 per cent – of the UAE population between ages 20 and 79 has Type 2 diabetes, according to figures from the International Diabetes Federation last year, detailed on the centre’s website.
Last year, more than a million people in the UAE were living with diabetes, making it 13th worldwide in terms of prevalence adjusted for age.
The numbers are expected to rise because of rapid economic growth, sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets, according to the centre.