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MENA Diabetes Forum

I recently attended the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Diabetes Forum, which was held in Dubai in December 2010. The countries in the MENA region have amongst the world's highest prevalence of diabetes, driven by rapid changes in income, lifestyle, diet and physical activity. The forum covered a range of issues, from prevention, early diagnosis, and effective treatment. There were also sessions in which policies from other countries, such as the UK, USA and Italy, were discussed so that these policies from other health systems could be examined to see what lessons they might offer the countries of the MENA region. Amongst the speaker were Professor Tawfik Khoja, Professor Jean-Claude Mbanya, Professor Salman Rawaf, Professor Ala Alwan and former US President William (Bill) Clinton. I spoke about the UK experience of implementing screening programmes for diabetes and the UK pay for performance framework that encourages primary care physicians to provide high-quality care to people with long-term illnesses such as diabetes. You can view articles on diabetes prevalencediabetes management and on risk factors for diabetes in the Gulf in the journals PLoS OnePLoS One and JRSM Short Reports respectively.

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