Under the rubric of “Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases in Primary Healthcare”, the 3rd Kuwaiti and 14th GCC Primary Healthcare Conference kicked off, 11 – 13 November 2014.
The three-day conference is organized in cooperation with the Executive Council of the GCC Health Ministers Council with participation of Dasman Diabetes Institute.

The conference underlined that the primary healthcare staff shoulder the responsibility of raising people awareness about the danger of the NCDs. During the conference it was also pointed out that the conferees would review the international and regional organizations’ future plans for preventing the spread of the NCDs.

It was discussed that Kuwait has made inroads in addressing the challenges of the NCDs and implementing the world health organizations’ recommendations to control these chronic diseases.
The Kuwaiti government has already managed to persuade bakeries to reduce salt in bread by 20 percent to prevent high blood pressure and other vascular diseases. It also organize awareness campaigns nationwide to persuade people to give up smoking and to adopt health life styles.

A non-communicable disease, or NCD, is a medical condition or disease, which by definition is non-infectious and non-transmissible among people. NCDs may be chronic diseases of long duration and slow progression, or they may result in more rapid death such as some types of sudden stroke. They include autoimmune diseases, heart disease, stroke, many cancers, asthma, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, and more. According to the World Health Organization (Who), the NCDs kill more than 36 million people each year.

For his part, Director General of the Executive Board of GCC Health Ministers Council Prof. Tawfik Khoja stated that the NCDs are pandemic and a major challenge for primary healthcare worldwide.
He emphasized the grave impacts of the NCDs on the public health and economies of the Gulf Cooperation Council states. Khoja highlighted the measures taken by the GCC states to control the chronic non-communicable diseases which are one of the main causes of mortality in the Gulf region. Over three-days, the conferees address a wide array of topics related to the NCDs challenges in primary healthcare such as tackling NCDs burden and evidence based approach; psychiatric aspects of NCDs; screening and prevention of coronary artery disease; and physical activity role in the prevention of chronic disease and premature death.
They will also review that the successes stories of integration of chronic diseases in primary health care in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Jordan.

Several workshops are also organized on the sidelines of the conference about the following topics: How to search for 2ndry evidence -based health care resources when managing NCD; How to prepare an action plan for tobacco control in your country?; Interpreting the results of pulmonary function tests (PFT); and updates in diabetic foot examination.