Muscat: Under the patronage of Dr. Hilal Al Sabti, Minister of Health, the Department of the National Diabetes and Endocrine Centre (NDEC) of the Royal Hospital, in cooperation with Oman Diabetes Association (ODA), Novo Nordisk Pharma Gulf and the Danish Embassy, commemorated the World Obesity Day 2023.
The celebration was preceded by a brief scientific meeting where current obesity challenges in the Sultanate of Oman and the Gulf region and the outcomes of the ongoing cooperation between NDEC, ODA and Novo Nordisk were discussed.
Sayyidah Dr Noor Al Busaidi, Director of NDEC and President, ODA spoke about the milestones in Obesity care in Oman and current gaps and Venkat Kalyan, Vice President and General Manager at Novo Nordisk Pharma Gulf gave a welcome address on behalf of the company and spoke about driving change in obesity. The meeting was also attended by Dr Ayman Omran, Director of Patient Access and Public Affairs at Novo Nordisk Pharma Gulf.
A briefing about the different initiatives and projects of collaboration was presented by Dr Amira Al Kharusi, Consultant Obesity Physician and she highlighted its main outcomes. “Over the past two years, the parties collaborated to establish standardised training for Omani doctors in obesity management and initiated the work to produce a national clinical management guideline for obesity. The former so far resulted in the certification of 32 Omani doctors in obesity management from the World Obesity Federation and work is ongoing to achieve the second objective” Dr Amira added.
Dr Noor Al Busaidi highlighted key milestones in obesity care in Oman and how it developed to reach the level of care of today. She elaborated on how the ministry of health with support from the stakeholders closed in some of the gaps and what gaps remain challenging to date. Dr Noor said: “I thank all those who worked with us over the past 10 years to establish the obesity tertiary care we have in NDEC, without their support we wouldn’t have achieved what we have today”
She also emphasised about the establishment of a taskforce composed of 17 local experts from various disciplines of care, which is also endorsed by the Ministry of Health, and mandated to develop the national obesity clinical management guidelines. “The taskforce comprises local experts from various disciplines, including obesity medicine, adult and pediatric endocrinology, gastroenterology, bariatric surgery, therapeutic nutrition, psychology, obesity education and exercise therapy who will work together to develop comprehensive and practical guidelines tailored to the local context and the specific needs of patients living with obesity in Oman” Dr Noor Al Busaidi reiterated.
She also added that there is a need for a national health economics study to estimate the burden of Obesity in the Omani society and the burden resulting from its complications.
Venkat Kalyan emphasised the need to raise awareness about obesity as a serious, chronic, and relapsing disease with high prevalence in Oman. Due to this alarming situation, Novo Nordisk continues its commitment to drive change in obesity through partnership and collaboration with key stakeholders and health care organisations to making obesity a healthcare priority. “We are committed to helping improve the lives of people with obesity by changing how the world sees, prevents and treats obesity” he added.
Obesity is well known prevalent, chronic multi-factorial disease, associated with more than 195 complications such as: cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and various types of cancers. Globally, the epidemic of obesity represents heavy economic and societal burden not only on people living with obesity but on the whole society. Countries need to work towards unified approaches and share and implement common working strategies to optimally compact this disease on the national scale.