Diabetes among Saudis a major issue

Updated 13 November 2012

Diabetes among Saudis a major issue

JEDDAH: Diabetes, also known as the “life style disease,” is rapidly turning into a modern-day epidemic. Due to a luxurious, sedentary life style and unhealthy food habits, thousands are joining are its ranks every day.
Globally there are currently 336 million people who have diabetes. This figure is set to rise to over 550 million by 2030. The epidemic is causing the death of 4.6 million a year, or one victim in every 7 seconds. Diabetes is among top 10 causes for disability, resulting in life threatening complications such as heart disease, stroke, lower limb amputations and blindness. Ironically, 50 percent of people with diabetes are undiagnosed.
World Diabetes Day is tomorrow and the Ministry of Health is waging an awareness campaign.
There are two type of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 2 diabetes represents 90 percent of diabetes cases in Saudi Arabia. Usually, the disease either resulted from or was exacerbated by unhealthy dietary habits, lack of exercise and the prevalence of obesity. These key factors have resulted in diabetes becoming a silent killer.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health is not only providing treatment to all those affected but also indulged in efforts for preventive measures and mass education. There still is a long way to go.
The prevalence of diabetes is in Kingdom is at an alarming level Over 25 percent of the adult population is suffering and that figure is expected to more than double by 2030. Half of the people over 30 years of age are prone to diabetes. Saudi Arabia has the second highest rate of diabetes in the Middle East and is seventh highest in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Some reports suggest that the Kingdom spends approximately SR 30 billion every year on the treatment of diabetes. A patient’s treatment costs the government SR 5,000 per year, if there are no complications. Those would increase the cost considerably. The treatment of one common diabetes complication, renal failure, costs the government between SR 98 and 180 thousand per year for the dialysis of only one patient.
Adding to those costs are the indirect burden of diabetes, caused by lack of productivity as a result of disability or death. These expenditures and burdens are tremendously high and immeasurable.
Loss of vision is one of the primary concerns for persons with diabetes. Approximately two thirds of diabetics are likely experience loss of vision after 35 years of diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy very often results in impaired vision. Diabetes is 25 times more likely to lead to blindness than any other conditions. A person with impaired vision due to diabetic retinopathy usually experiences difficulty in daily life. They may see dark spots or have restricted side vision due to decreased contrast sensitivity.
Jahangir, a Pakistani expatriate in the Kingdom, has diabetes. He is unable to drive a vehicle at night hours due to poor vision. Several other diabetes patients had to return to their home countries as they had lost the ability to work. Poorly controlled diabetes may cause problems while driving, which may lead to traffic accidents, warns the Saudi Diabetes & Endocrine Association (SDEA). It said that low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and visual impairment are the main problems diabetic drivers may experience.
The WHO estimates that every year more than one million limb amputations occur globally. Around 85 percent of those are believed to be avoidable if appropriate medical attention had been given at an earlier stage. Saudi Arabia has a high amputation rate, compared to other countries.
A condition known as the diabetic foot, involving a lack of feeling, ulcers that do not heal, bone softening, gangrene and other complications, is a result from nerve damage and constricted blood flow in the foot caused by diabetes.
People must act now to prevent the rapidly growing disease, said Khalid Abdul Rahman Tayeb, director of Diabetes and Endocrinology at Al-Nour Specialist Hospital in Makkah. He was chairman of the Ministry of Health committee on diabetes in Kingdom.
He said that one out of four adults in Jeddah are affected with the disease and all stakeholders should help prevent diabetes in the Kingdom.
The control of diabetes prior to surgery is particularly significant. Providing guidance to patients on how to take care of their feet and telling them what to do if complications develop will reduce the number of complications and prevent amputations.


Guinness World Records has great expectations for Saudi titles milestone

Updated 25 September 2020

Guinness World Records has great expectations for Saudi titles milestone

  • In MENA region, KSA is second behind UAE for its record-breaking prowess, with 93 GWR titles

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s penchant for breaking world records looks set to see the Kingdom smash through the 100 titles mark in the not-too-distant future, officials have predicted.
Guinness World Records (GWR), which lists incredible human achievements and extremes of nature, has great expectations for the country over the coming months.
The Kingdom has been placed second behind the UAE in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for its record-breaking prowess, with 93 GWR titles under its belt.
GWR’s senior marketing manager in the MENA region, Shaddy Gaad, told Arab News: “We’re very impressed with Saudi record-breaking and we’re really excited — a lot of record-breaking happens on the National Day.
“Over the last few years and with the Saudi Seasons (activity festivals) we’ve seen a big rise in record-breaking in Saudi Arabia and we’re looking forward to seeing this continue.
“Saudi Arabia is on the up and it’s rising very quickly. There were a lot of records broken near the end of last year. We had Riyadh Season and we had AlUla. I think that number’s going to rise up very quickly,” he said.

Largest hot air balloon glow show: The largest hot air balloon glow show consisted of 100 hot air balloons and was achieved by the Royal Commission for AlUla on Jan. 6, 2019.

Gaad added that so far this year there had been a 15 percent increase in the number of new records set by MENA nations.
“This year we received 750 applications from the MENA region, compared to 649 in the first eight months of 2019. From Saudi Arabia, we received 79 applications and we expect it to go up to 100 by the end of the year,” he said.
One of the most notable titles achieved by Saudi Arabia was for the largest mirror building, the Maraya Concert Hall in AlUla. “If you see that building itself, it’s absolutely beautiful. It looks like something out of a movie,” added Gaad.
Jeddah can boast the world’s largest burger restaurant, with I’m Hungry covering 2,860 square meters, the equivalent of 11 tennis courts according to its marketing team.
The Red Sea port city also has the world’s tallest unsupported flagpole, while AlUla plays host to the largest hot air balloon glow show, and Saudi influencer Hussain Sallam (known as S7S) holds the record for the largest serving of sayadieh (1,334 kilograms of the seasoned fish and rice dish).

Largest human awareness ribbon: The largest human awareness ribbon consisted of 8,264 participants and was achieved by Saudi women at an event organized by 10KSA in Riyadh on Dec. 12, 2015.

Stunt driver Terry Grant completed the largest loop-the-loop in a car during Riyadh Season on Nov. 25, and the MDL Beast Festival in the Saudi capital on Dec. 21 won the tallest stage title.
However, similar to most organizations, WGR has had to adapt to working around safety restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We moved a lot of things online. To view the growth in the number of applications, we launched this online record-breaking; what happened is it’s a dedicated brand and content division, focused on helping brands and businesses break records as part of their marketing campaign, and all of it is done over the internet.
“It wasn’t difficult; record-breaking and evidence provision is generally done online. It wasn’t difficult for us; the only thing was that people just had to get used to it, but it was a seamless process,” said Gaad.

Largest burger restaurant: The largest burger restaurant covers an area of 2,860 square meters and the title was achieved by I’m Hungry in Jeddah on Dec. 12, 2019.

The new division runs over content such as live-streaming, online pledges, online albums, video relays, and video chains.
One of them happened in Saudi Arabia, with the most viewers for an Iftar YouTube live stream, when 183,544 people tuned in to enjoy popular YouTubers such as “The Saudi Reporters” and comedian Omar Hussein.
“These influencers got together on YouTube, live, and for an hour they were sharing their stories about Ramadan traditions and Saudi traditions. They broke their fast and shared this moment with their fans. That video ended up trending as No. 1 in Saudi and the region.
“If anything, this pandemic has taught us to adapt to situations. I think people are now more flexible with the idea of doing online records as much as they’re doing offline records,” Gaad added.
He pointed out that the online application process for the GWR was simple and that titles were granted based on whether the record was measurable (longest, largest, heaviest, etc.), breakable, standardizable, or verifiable, and if it was made up of one variable.

SOME OF THE RECORDS BROKEN IN SAUDI ARABIA

• Tallest flagpole: The tallest unsupported flagpole measures 171 meters (561 feet) and was erected by Jeddah Municipality and Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI) in Jeddah on Sept. 23, 2014.

• Largest drinking water storage facility: The largest drinking water storage facility is the Briman Strategic Water Reservoir, in Jeddah, with a total capacity of 2,062,500 cubic meters, verified on Nov. 17, 2014. Fun fact: The volume of this facility could fill up six skyscrapers the size of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

• Largest burger restaurant: The largest burger restaurant covers an area of 2,860 square meters and the title was achieved by I’m Hungry in Jeddah on Dec. 12, 2019.

• Largest hot air balloon glow show: The largest hot air balloon glow show consisted of 100 hot air balloons and was achieved by the Royal Commission for AlUla on Jan. 6, 2019.

• The Largest Serving of sayadieh: The largest serving of sayadieh was 1,334 kg achieved by Hussain Sallam in Jeddah on Sept. 14, 2019.

• Darkest man-made substance: The darkest man-made substance is a black material made of gold nanoparticles and called dark chameleon dimers, which absorbs more than 99 percent of visible light over the whole visible range. The material was made by scientists from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), in a joint collaboration between Prof. Yu Han and Prof. Andrea Fratalocchi.

• Largest water desalination company: The largest water desalination company is Saline Water Conversion Corp. (Saudi Arabia) which produces 4,600,000 cubic meters a day as verified on June 4, 2016. •Largest Tele-ICU command center: The largest Tele-ICU command center consisted of 796 beds and was achieved by Dr. Sulaiman Al-Habib Medical Group in Riyadh and verified on July 31, 2019.

• Tallest stage (temporary): The tallest stage (temporary) measured 38 meters in height and was achieved by MDL Beast Fest in Riyadh on Dec. 21, 2019.

• Most consecutive wins in AFC champions league: The most consecutive wins of the AFC champions league are two achieved by Al Ittihad FC (Saudi Arabia) in 2004-2005.

• Largest human awareness ribbon: The largest human awareness ribbon consisted of 8,264 participants and was achieved by Saudi women at an event organized by 10KSA in Riyadh on Dec. 12, 2015.