Diabetes: A ‘ticking time bomb’ for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has an 18.5 percent prevalence rate in the adult population, which ranks the country among the top 10 in the world with the highest prevalence of diabetes. (SPA)
Updated 13 November 2018

Diabetes: A ‘ticking time bomb’ for Saudi Arabia

  • “Only 24 percent of respondents fully agreed that their current lifestyle is healthy and only 7 percent agreed that their current diet is healthy,” explained the survey

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is sitting on a diabetes time bomb. The number of cases has exceeded 3.8 million and a huge majority of sufferers have no knowledge about the illness and its association with cardiovascular diseases. Type 2 diabetes is at an all-time high in the Kingdom, affecting the quality of life, including productivity.
A survey conducted by the Saudi Scientific Diabetes Society (SSDS) said that “more than 52 percent of patients with type 2 diabetes die of cardiovascular causes.”
The Kingdom has an 18.5 percent prevalence rate in the adult population, which ranks the country among the top 10 in the world with the highest prevalence of diabetes,” said the survey.
Speaking during the presentation of the survey, Dr. Saud Al-Sifri, vice president of the SSDS, said: “Type 2 diabetes is a serious epidemic, not just in Saudi Arabia but around the world … despite numerous efforts, awareness levels remain low around the knowledge gaps within type 2 diabetes management and cardiovascular disease risk implications ... Patients with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of developing heart disease.”
He advised patients to go for “regular checkups and have open conversations with their doctors. Given the importance and relationship between CVD and diabetes, there are new classes for type 2 diabetes treatment that have shown significant improvement in cardiovascular outcome trials,” said Al-Sifri, urging all stakeholders to address the issue Kingdom-wide.
The survey, which was carried out by the SSDS in collaboration with Ipsos, a global market research and consulting firm, said that “52 percent of the patients perceive obesity to be more serious than type 2 diabetes, confirming that increasing public awareness about a specific disease alters their perception.” In fact, 45 percent of respondents did not discuss cardiovascular disease’s association with physicians, it added.
“Only 24 percent of respondents fully agreed that their current lifestyle is healthy and only 7 percent agreed that their current diet is healthy,” explained the survey.


Saudi rail chief visits Haramain stations

Updated 14 November 2019

Saudi rail chief visits Haramain stations

  • Visit is part of project management’s plans for the Haramain station in Al-Sulaimaniyah and Jeddah airport
  • Railway inaugurated by King Salman on Sep. 24, 2018

JEDDAH: Saudi Transport Minister and Director-General of the Saudi Railway Organization (SAR), Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, visited the Haramain High-Speed Railway’s Al-Sulaimaniyah station and the King Abdul Aziz International Airport station in Jeddah on Thursday to check on preparations to resume operations at the two sites.

Al-Jasser was accompanied by Public Transport Authority Chairman Rumaih bin Mohammed Al-Rumaih, SAR CEO Bashar Al-Malik and other officials.

The visit is part of project management’s plans for the Haramain station in Al-Sulaimaniyah and Jeddah airport to serve airline passengers and Jeddah residents.

The service was halted on Sept. 29, 2019 after a fire broke out at the station in Jeddah, which left 11 people injured. The blaze, which was centered in the roof of the station, lasted for 15 hours.

As the first high-speed electric train in the region, the Haramain High-Speed Railway spans over 450km, connecting five stations across Makkah, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport, King Abdullah Economic City and Madinah.

The railway was inaugurated by King Salman on Sep. 24, 2018. 

The project is in line with the objectives of the Vision 2030 reform plans, the main goal of which is to increase the number of pilgrims and visitors to the holy places. Officials described it as the biggest transportation project of its kind in the region.