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Booz Allen Hamilton to Convene Business Leaders in the UAE to Discuss Growing Diabetes Crisis

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Leading provider of management and technology consulting services unveils a new, comprehensive report, exploring the dynamic tensions between Diabetes and the long-term economic competitiveness of the GCC.

Snapshot of key report findings:

  • Medical expenditures for those with diabetes are on average 2.3 times higher than for those without the disease.
  • In 2011, diabetes-related costs amounted to $6.6 billion, or 1.8 percent of the nation’s GDP, higher than any other country in the GCC
  • Treatment of diabetes accounts for approximately 40% of the nation’s overall healthcare expenditures

Abu Dhabi: Thirty-one percent of all deaths in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are caused by diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This startling statistic belies the enormous costs borne by the UAE government, civil society and private sector to fight the debilitating disease. In an attempt to support companies that are suffering from employees’ lost productivity and absenteeism as well as increased healthcare costs, Booz Allen Hamilton will be convening UAE business leaders on November 5th in a national forum to discuss the role key public health issues like diabetes play in regards to the country’s economic competiveness.

The event “Diabetes and Workplace Well-Being Solutions” will be the first in a comprehensive series of events across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries over the next six months that will explore various elements of economic competitiveness and the role that issues, like the diabetes crisis, can play in regards to charting the course for long-term sustainable socio-economic growth in the region. Commenting ahead of the event, Don Pressley, Regional Managing Director for Booz Allen Hamilton Middle East said “It is important to begin conversations now about the implications a public health issue like diabetes may have on companies operating in the GCC and how business leaders can help address the crisis: medical expenditures for those with diabetes are on average 2.3 times higher than for those without the disease.”

To  clarify the full economic cost of diabetes on the UAE, Booz Allen Hamilton is unveiling a new, comprehensive report, “Exploring the Growing Challenge of Diabetes Across the GCC and within the United Arab Emirates.” The report was informed by two studies commissioned by Booz Allen Hamilton in 2012; the first assessed UAE diabetes prevalence and incidence, risk factors, prevention programs and economic costs, while the second took a deeper look into the attitudes and behaviors that put Emiratis at risk of developing diabetes and identified possible ways to mitigate risk factors and encourage healthy behaviors. As part of this research, 1000 UAE nationals, along with 200 guest workers and expatriates were surveyed across all 7 Emirates. In addition, 150 UAE professionals from fields such as medicine, government, corporate human resources, and media were also interviewed to identify Emirate workers’ understanding of the disease and the type of support they need to remain a productive workforce. “This information is vital to helping the UAE meet the country’s 2011-2013 national strategy goals which aim to create a competitive knowledge economy by enhancing the capabilities, efficiency, and productivity of the Emirati workforce” Pressley added.

Through in-depth research and interviews, the research revealed high levels of awareness among Emiratis about the disease, but despite this growing understanding, diabetes crisis continues to strain financial resources in the Emirates. It is estimated that in 2011, diabetes-related costs amounted to $6.6 billion, or 1.8 percent of the country’s GDP, higher than any other country in the GCC. Treatment of diabetes accounted for approximately 40% of the nation’s overall healthcare expenditures. This number is only anticipated to grow as the disease’s prevalence rate continues to rise throughout the region. According to the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF), there were 32.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes in 2011 in the MENA region, with an expected increase of 83% to 59.7 million by 2030.

Booz Allen will convene business leaders at the St. Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi for a half-day interactive event based on the firm’s leading proprietary simulation exercise methodology on November 5th. The exercise will facilitate cooperative strategies about how to effectively address the growing problem of diabetes amongst employees and their families. The U.S. Ambassador to the United Emirates, Michael H. Corbin, will provide welcoming remarks. Also in attendance will be numerous senior leaders from Booz Allen Hamilton, including Don Pressley, Regional Managing Director for the Middle East, and Grant McLaughlin, Vice President focusing on global health challenges facing the public and private sectors.

About Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen Hamilton is a leading provider of management and technology consulting services to the U.S. government in defense, intelligence, and civil markets, and to major corporations, institutions, and not-for-profit organizations. Booz Allen is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, employs approximately 24,000 people, and had revenue of $5.86 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2012.