World Diabetes Day is marked each year on November 14 by the World Health Organization, the International Diabetes Federation and other global actors as a means for raising awareness about the growing diabetes crisis around the world. Diabetes affects 346 million people internationally and this number will double by 2030 without proper intervention and care. On World Diabetes Day, Booz Allen Hamilton announced the conclusions from a recent dialogue on the disease’s impact in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, where 32.8 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes as of 2011, and this number is expected to increase by 83% to 59.7 million by 2030.
To foster collaborative solutions to the diabetes crisis, Booz Allen Hamilton convened executives from leading companies operating in the UAE on November 5, 2012, at the St. Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi for the “Diabetes in the UAE: Workplace Strategies Tabletop” event. Participants in this half-day event included representatives from the food and beverage, hospitality, pharmaceutical, and health care industries. The group engaged in a dynamic, participant-driven simulation exercise designed to provide stakeholders an opportunity to explore cooperative strategies about how to effectively address the growing problem of diabetes amongst employees and their families.
Grant McLaughlin, a Booz Allen Hamilton Vice President who facilitated the event, commented: “Unless action is taken immediately, even larger numbers of people in the UAE will continue to be impacted by diabetes. It is vital that the private sector, which is greatly impacted by the costs of providing insurance and of lost employee productivity, play a critical role within the country to take collective action across society to address this growing public health issue.”
During the event, participants conducted a simulation in which they each acted as managers of a fictional multinational corporation operating in UAE and had to make choices to address employee health circumstances in near-, mid- and long-term time frames. Participants had the opportunity to evaluate and prioritize choices from a menu of programs that could help their employees. Recommended programs were designed specifically for this event by Booz Allen Hamilton subject matter experts and focused on nutrition, fitness, mobile health, disease management, screening, cash incentives, and awareness.