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Implementing A Diabetes Risk Screening and Prevention Program in Community Pharmacies in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) faces a critical need to enhance its healthcare system to address the rising prevalence of prediabetes. Early detection is key in preventing its progression to type 2 diabetes. Implementing screening programs in community pharmacies offers a convenient and accessible solution to reach a broad demographic. Prediabetes often goes undetected until it develops into diabetes, leading to significant health complications and straining the healthcare system. By expanding the healthcare system's capacity through pharmacy-based screening programs, the UAE can proactively identify individuals at risk and implement timely intervention strategies.

A novel prediabetes screening program that aligns with the UAE's healthcare vision, emphasizing preventative care and community outreach, was developed, implemented, and tested. Community pharmacies serve as trusted hubs for health-related services, making them ideal for engaging individuals in screenings and promoting health literacy. Through education and counseling, community pharmacists can provide valuable guidance on lifestyle modifications and resources for managing prediabetes, empowering individuals to take charge of their health.

Our study demonstrated that expanding the healthcare system's capacity through pharmacy-based screening programs represents a proactive and practical approach to early prediabetes detection in the UAE. Establishing a national, structured, evidence-based, easily accessible diabetes prevention program can mitigate the burden of diabetes and enhance the overall health and well-being of the UAE population.

Recommended citation: Alzubaidi, H. (2024). Implementing A Diabetes Risk Screening and Prevention Program in Community Pharmacies in the United Arab Emirates (Policy Paper No.72). Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.

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