Access to diabetes treatments is access to a better life

I have been busy these days so I’m sorry for being a bit behind on my posts. There is some IBD news that I will share with you but first I wanted to highlight this article that I saw on BI-ME.

Business Intelligence Middle East – – Despite high diabetes prevalence, critical treatments remain inaccessible in Gulf – News, analysis, reports.

Considering the ridiculous rates of diabetes in the Middle East, I felt that the topic of accessibility to proper treatments and medicines was one worth discussing. According to the article ‘there are 6.5 million residents of the GCC suffering with diabetes’. This is a huge number when you consider that there is no cure for the disease and that it is a very burdensome, chronic condition that these people will have to live with, monitor and manage every day of their life.

As new treatments are being developed, tested and put into use around the world, the governing powers whose responsibility it is to make these treatments accessible in this region, need to be prepared for the high demand of the increasingly self-educated diabetes sufferers looking for the most innovative treatment options. Doctors and their institutions also need to push for more education and adequate prescription processes in order to manage the situation. If the lives of 6.5 million people in the GCC are dictated by their diabetes, how accessible these treatments are will have a direct correlation to the growth of an increasingly dangerous gray market which is subject to exploitation of illegal counterfeits. Those living with diabetes will also be more prone to self medicating practices that could make a bad problem exponentially worse.

If you have a story or comment, share it. Debating the issue will likely point to potential solutions.


Disrupting Diabetes

The model of Disruption

The model of Disruption

I’ve been asked by a large Dubai school to present and conduct a sort of creativity seminar for their older students.  As part of a creative agency, TBWA, we practice a motto of ‘disruption’, which is a way to break brands out of the ordinary and turn them extraordinary. Sometimes this can be very difficult when we are asked to create advertisements for bland or boring subjects. But it is through Disruption that pet food, in the case of Pedigree, became a call sign for ‘the love of dogs’, creative outdoor, print and tv campaigns as well as great events. Examples of some ads can be found here.

Because people often tell me that it is hard to be Inspired by Diabetes (as mentioned in a previous post) I thought why not bring the concept of Disruption to diabetes. This way, kids can learn about the disease, be given tools to tap their creativity and put the two together to make art that will be entered into the competition. The purpose for me is to engage older kids and get them to submit art in a variety of media so that I can share it with the world.

If anyone has any ideas how to get students excited, please let me know. Any brainstorming techniques, cool diabetes visuals, examples of diabetes art, it would be a big help.

Having fun!!!

In the spirit of ‘Inspired by Diabetes’ I thought it would be nice to look at some places around the web that take a lighter approach to awareness and living with the disease.

The American Diabetes Association has a section on their website called ‘Fun and Games’. It is a page featurning many diabetes-themed games to take your mind off diabetes for a few minutes. Games such as Build a Healthy Kid and the Interactive Crossword puzzle are both educational and fun for kids.  

There are a number of fun quizzes online to test your knowledge of diabetes. One great one is the Celebrity Diabetes Quiz on This quiz is more diabetes specific but still fun.

Here’s a neat game on the diabetes blog Tudiabetes – It is a True or False game played through the comments section of the post.

Here We Go!!

The UAE, Lebanon and Egypt inspired by Diabetes campaigns are launching this weekend for World Diabetes Day. Share with me any other events going on in the Middle East that are meant to raise awareness about diabetes. – check out the International Diabetes Federation’s Unite for Diabetes, Diabetes Day site for information on how you can help alert people to diabetes’ devastating effects on the region.

Inspired by Diabetes at Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai

This week, Inspired by Diabetes in the UAE is partnering with Ibn Battuta Mall’s Unite for Diabetes awareness week. Come by and spend some time getting your blood sugars checked, enjoy some fun activities and learn about the disease that is affecting 1 out of every 5 people in the country.

Visit us at the Inspired by Diabetes art area and use our supplies to make your diabetes-inspired creation. You will have the chance to enter it into the competition even before the official launch.

The event continues from 3pm until the mall closes from the 10-15. Bring your friends.

International Diabetes Federation MENA Member Associations

Since Inspired by Diabetes will be launching again in this region, I thought it might be helpful for all the Middle East and North Africa to know who their regional representative is for their respective countries. If you want to know IDF member associations outside this region, click the IDF’s website.

Afghanistan Diabetes Association
Diabetes Control Center
Maiwand Hospital, Cinema-e-Pamir
Tel +93-75-202-3551

Bahrain Diabetes Asscociation
PO Box 20321
Tel +973-279664
Fax +973-251360

Egyptian Diabetes Association
40 Safia Zaghloul Street
21111 Alexandria
Tel +20-3-5439928
Fax +20-3-5431698

Iraqi Diabetes Association
Al-Yarmook Hospital
Al-Qadsia Province
Tel +964-15425727
Fax +964-15425727

Iranian Diabetes Society
46 Ramin Malakooti Street
Patris Lomumba
14439 Tehran
Islamic Republic of Iran
Tel +98-21-8253113
Fax +98-21-88275274

Jordanian Society for the Care of Diabetes
PO Box 9704
11191 Amman
Tel +962-6-5160207
Fax +962-6-5159807

Kuwait Diabetes Society
PO Box 68039
71961 Kifan
Tel +965-4819838
Fax +965-4819885

Lebanese Diabetes Association
Makassed Center – 4th floor
Mar Elias street
Tel +961-7-300515
Fax +961-7-739424

Libyan Diabetic Association
PO Box 11052
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Tel +218-21-4776992
Fax +218-21-3600659

Ligue Marocaine de Lutte contre le Diabète
28 avenue de France, n° 8 Agdal
or: PO Box 6583
10000 Rabat
Tel +212-37-773341
Fax +212-37-773341

Oman Diabetes Society
P.O.Box 3201
111 Al-Khood
Tel +968-24489951
Fax +968-24481699

Diabetic Association of Pakistan
5-E/3, Nazimabad
74600 Karachi
Tel +92-21-6616890
Fax +92-21-6680959

Qatar Diabetes Association
PO Box 752
Al Mumtaza
974 Doha
Tel +974-4447481
Fax +974-4431901

Saudi Diabetes and Endocrine Association
PO Box 1498
31952 Al Khobar
Saudi Arabia
Tel +966-3-8878970, 8876099
Fax +966-3-8878710

Syrian Diabetes Association
PO Box 6858
Syrian Arab Republic
Tel +963-11-2318900
Fax +963-11-2318900

Association Tunisienne des Diabètiques
Tunisian Diabetic Association
Boulevard 9 Avril
Immeuble SNIT – app 5L2
1006 Tunis
Tel +216-71-569096
Fax +216-71-570242

Emirates Diabetes Society
PO Box 6600
UAE Dubai
United Arab Emirates
Tel +97-14-3377377
Fax +97-14-3344082

Inspired by Diabetes Art Contest 2008

The Middle East edition of the global art contest ‘Inspired by Diabetes’ will be starting up again soon. Contestants will be invited to submit their poetry, prose, music, video and visual art relating to how diabetes affects them, their society and loved ones. Stay tuned for more information or email to be added to the mailing list.