Mubadala Health’s Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) has become the first in Abu Dhabi and the third in the UAE to be accredited as a Collaborating Centre for Obesity Management (COM) by the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO).
Under the EASO COM scheme, obesity management centres are accredited against a set of stringent criteria and in accordance with accepted European and academic guidelines to ensure consistently high standards in different countries across the world.
The EASO Obesity Management Task Force completed its assessment of ICLDC and granted it an initial two-year EASO International Affiliate COM status from 1 April this year. In addition, the body has recognised two of ICLDC’s experts – Dr Mohgah El Sheikh and Dr Matthew Allum, both consultant endocrinologists and diabetologists – as EASO National Clinical Fellows.
ICLDC Acting Executive Director, Dr. Alya Al Mazrouei, says: "We are delighted to have received this recognition, which affirms our expertise in managing obesity alongside diabetes. In addition, it is the goal of Mubadala Health and ICLDC to offer world-class services to the UAE and region, and this successful evaluation of our standards and our experts by the EASO task force proves that we are accomplishing this."
It is estimated that over 37% of adults in the UAE are living with obesity and its presence is closely linked with a large number of health conditions, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Dr. El Sheikh, who is also ICLDC’s clinical lead for obesity and metabolic surgery, says: "Obesity is believed to account for 80-85% of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while research suggests that people with obesity can more than halve their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by losing 5-10% of their body weight."
Dr. Al Mazrouei adds that in addition to the treatment of obesity through dietary approaches, medication and addressing underlying conditions, ICLDC also works closely with the bariatric surgeons at its fellow Mubadala partner, Healthpoint, which is accredited as a Centre of Excellence by another international body, the Surgical Review Corporation.
Of these international accreditations, Dr. Al Mazrouei explains, "Obesity is a global epidemic with serious health, economic and social consequences, so it is important for countries to work together and share knowledge to ensure a consistent and optimal approach is adopted. As such, it is important for ICLDC to work with organizations such as EASO and the World Obesity Federation on projects that include raising international awareness and formulating guidelines to tackle obesity," Dr. Al Mazrouei says.
Dr. El Sheikh agrees and adds that as a member of the EASO COM network, ICLDC will also have the opportunity to assist the network in its objective of developing consensus guidelines on several obesity management issues.
She welcomes this, having been one of the ICLDC physicians who contributed to the World Obesity Federation’s GCC and Lebanon Obesity Management Guidelines last year. "We are looking forward to sharing our in-depth regional knowledge with the European obesity centres, and look forward to learning from them as well," she says.