Top 5 Ailments UAE Filipinos Suffer From

What’s astounding is that some people are not even aware of their ailments DUBAI – Half of deaths in the UAE are caused by heart diseases and, recently, the country ranked second in the world in terms of people affected by diabetes. A scourge of lifestyle diseases is now affecting the region’s citizens as well as expats, including Filipino expatriates, and the growing numbers continue to trouble medical authorities. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lifestyle diseases such as, inter alia, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes are the most prominent cause of death in the UAE. Shockingly, about one in five people are not even aware that they have these diseases, putting their lives at further risk without medication or precaution. Dr Michael Khouri, Cardiologist, Khalifa Hospital, Abu Dhabi Healthcare Authority (Head), told local news portal Emirates 24|7: “Nearly 20 per cent of heart patients were unaware that they had diabetes or hypertension or high cholesterol, thus exposing them to cardiovascular diseases.” While there are no studies on the overall illnesses beleaguering the Filipino population in the UAE in particular, medical practitioners are clear on what ails Pinoys. In an exclusive interview of the Filipino Times with Dr.Henry V. Galuba Jr., first accredited Filipino internal medicine specialist in Dubai, said that, based on the patients he had encountered for the past several months, the top 5 diseases afflicting our kababayans are: 1)      Hypertension & cardiovascular diseases 2)      Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 3)      Hyperlipidemia (Increased Cholesterol) & Hyperuricemia (Increased uric acid) 4)      Respiratory illnesses 5)      Acute gastroenteritis & peptic ulcer disease By far, there are no reported cases of Filipino having to be deported because of fatal diseases like Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in the UAE, he noted, but added that hypertension and heart diseases are major killers. A recent study conducted by the World Heart Federation shows that every year, 17.3 million people die from heart disease and stroke thus making Cardiovascular Diseases the biggest killer worldwide. The increasing number of death cases in the UAE shows general lack of medical awareness, and the WHO is taking the initiative to monitor the region to collect data that will be used to formulate plans to tackle the disease. Doctors in Dubai reiterate that they can only do so much to control lifestyle diseases through medication and consultation – prevention, they claim, rests solely with patients themselves. Dr. Azan Binbrek of Cardiology Department, Rashid Hospital in Dubai, said and the Emirates 24|7 quoted: “We should play an active role in the community by promoting health awareness about diseases and their prevention, such as cardiovascular diseases. We primarily ask our patients to lose weight, do regular exercise and stop smoking. UAE still has a long way to go in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases because this is multi-disciplinary where it is the joint responsibility of the government, media and schools to play a role in planting healthy lifestyle for the kids and keep junk food out of their reach and train them to have exercise as part of their daily lives.”   Originally published in The Filipino Times:  

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