MoH offers incentives to staff for shedding weight

DUBAI — The Ministry of Health's (MoH) campaign against the most prevalent diseases in the UAE, including diabetes and obesity, has revealed that 40 per cent of its own employees are overweight.


Asma Ali Zain

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Published: Wed 26 Sep 2007, 8:36 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:13 AM

Dr Mariam Mattar, assistant under-secretary for public health and primary health care at the MoH said that the overweight staff of the primary health care department would have to shed at least 15 per cent of their weight within three months after which they will be eligible for incentives. "We will measure their Body Mass Index and metabolic weight, and based on the percentage of weight reduced, we'll offer them the opportunity to attend conferences and other incentives," she said.

Dr Mariam also revealed the results of a random survey carried out among MoH employees by the Central Department of Health Education. "We kicked off the campaign from the ministry itself so as to set an example for others to follow, but the outcome of the results have been a lesson for all of us," she said.

The campaign was held at the MoH in Dubai from September 9 to 13. During this period randomly selected 116 employees, including 44 women and 72 male staff were medically tested.

The survey revealed that 26 per cent of the employees tested were diabetic, 25 per cent had high cholesterol levels, 32 per cent had high levels of triglycerides, and 30 per cent suffered from high blood pressure.

Interestingly, 73 per cent of the employees tested for diabetes and found to be diabetic (22 people), had no idea that they had the disease. Likewise, while 80 per cent of those diagnosed with high blood pressure (28 people), were also unaware of their medical condition.

Dr Mariam said that the campaign had revealed the need for regular check-ups to control such diseases. "All health authorities in the emirates need to unite and spread awareness on how to prevent the spread of diseases such as diabetes and blood pressure," she stressed.

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