University of Sharjah researchers meet with leading healthcare experts in the UAE
On Friday, 26 May 2017, the Principal Investigator Dr. Hamzah Alzubaidi and research team at the College of Pharmacy, University of Sharjah conducted a forum with a panel of leading experts in the healthcare sector in the UAE. The forum is part of a larger research project 'Implementing diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk screening program in community pharmacies in the UAE'. This international collaborative research project funded by Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery-Dubai, aims at improving the delivery of health services in community pharmacies and developing a model for screening the UAE population for high diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk in the UAE.
The panel was comprised of eminent cardiologists, diabetologists, and clinical pharmacists, including: (1) Dr Salah Abusnana, medical director at Rashid Centre for Diabetes and Research, Ajman, (2) Dr Hamed Farooqi, director of Dubai Diabetes Center at DHA (3) Dr Sherif Bakir, Consultant Cardiologist and Section Head of the Noninvasive Lab at Shaik Khalifa Medical City, and (4) Dr Bassam Atalla, pharmacotherapy specialist-cardiology, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. It aimed at fine-tuning the protocol of proposed research project titled. The experts provided insightful comments on various aspects of the study protocol and helped to focus the implementation to the Emirati context.
Community pharmacies (CPs) are at the forefront of patient care. Research in developed countries has demonstrated that CPs are valuable platforms where screening and other healthcare services can be delivered by pharmacists, leading to significant improvements in patient and public health outcomes. In the UAE, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are two national health priority areas due to their high prevalence rates, and their heavy toll on the country's society and economy. Community pharmacists in the UAE have a potential to make a meaningful impact on public health, by helping people at high risk of diabetes and CVDs by early identification and offering of lifestyle advice, and referral to physicians if necessary. This can help delay or prevent the occurrence of these diseases.