Queen Rania accepts role of Honorary President in the Jordan Society for the Care of Diabetes

26 تموز 2000

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah has accepted to become Honorary President of the Jordanian Society for the Care of Diabetes, the Kingdom's sole society aiming to combat the disease, and to provide care and financial assistance to its victims.

Queen Rania recently met with members of the Society, during which the President Dr. Mohammad Al Zahiri, invited the Queen to become the Honorary President of the Society.

During the meeting, the goals and mission of the Society were outlined, as well as the status of diabetes in the Kingdom.

Calling diabetes a serious health challenge in Jordan, Dr. Al Zahiri says that two recent studies have shown that 14% of Jordanians 25 years of age and above carry the debilitating disease. A further 12% of Jordanians in the same age bracket are susceptible to acquiring diabetes at a later stage in their lives, says Dr. Al Zahiri.

The studies were conducted in 1998 by the Jordan University of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Health, in compliance with the World Health Organization's methodology, says Dr. Al Zahiri.

The causes of diabetes include poor nutrition, obesity, hereditary, as well as lack of early detection of the disease, says Dr. Al Zahiri.

According to Dr. Al Zahiri, the costly medication expenses of 80% of those with diabetes are covered by the Ministry of Health, the Royal Medical Services, and health insurance through university hospitals and companies. The remaining 20% are either covered by private health insurance companies, or not covered at all, says Dr. Al Zahiri.

Since 1999, Jordanian children below the age of 15 obtain insulin for free. In addition, says Dr. Al Zahiri, equipment for the home testing of diabetes is now exempt from extra taxes, which has resulted in a 40-50% reduction in fees.

The Society, which was established in 1991, brings together representatives from the governmental and non-governmental sectors of Jordan dealing with diabetes.

The Society aims to raise awareness about the disease, and offer social and financial assistance to diabetics, as well as to carry out research and studies on the disease.

The Society, which is a member of the International Diabetes Association, has opened branches in Irbid and Kerak.

The Society has also formed a club for diabetic children, where activities focusing on health awareness, as well as leisure are provided for approximately 200 children.

In addition, the society provides monthly conferences with experts to raise awareness about the disease for the general public. A fundraising dinner is also held annually.

The Society regularly offers free medication to patients throughout the Kingdom's governorates. Since 1994, it has paid the medical expenses of over 10,900 diabetic patients.

A recent study carried out by the National Center for Diabetes, states that Jordan has a higher rate of diabetes than other Arab and foreign countries, and that 40% of diabetics are not aware that they carry the disease.