Dr Behbehani of Kuwait has always had a strong democratic base compared with other countries in the region. How do you position Kuwait in the gulf?
You must think of the region as six countries. How they advance towards their own people. Not that we are the best, or that they are the best. But Kuwait has long had democracy. As a citizen, you can express what you want. Only the emir of Kuwait is protected and the rest can be discussed. In the past, we were the only country in the region with a parliament. We are talking about a belief is that once you are at home, you have the right, not only as a Kuwaiti, but as a non Kuwaiti: you can go to any place you want to go to, as long as you stay, you can do anything you want to do in the countries within the framework of rules and regulations.
You must see the rights of the people here. Once you are in the country, and you respect laws and regulations, no one can touch you, you are free. You are free to do whatever you want. We have nothing to hide. You can discuss anything you want with anyone, regardless of nationality.
Kuwait has one of the best health care systems in the gulf: it has more than 90 primary health care clinics and some major hospitals and has made significant progress along the way. What do you think the health care sector has brought to the success of the development initiatives?
There are two important things in life: health and education. These are the things we have to look at. In this country, they are free, provided by the government. That is why we are proud that a country cannot distinguish its citizens’ rights. We are equal. According to the law, you must send your child to school to get a degree. Parents are responsible. If they don’t, the court will Sue them.
Kuwait is the first country in the gulf to eradicate illiteracy. The constitution says in article 15 that education is free and healthy (not that it is free). We have no one to read or write.
In terms of health, the problem in this country today is chronic diseases like diabetes. Many years ago, this was not a disease. This is a disease of the north, not of the south. We are considered part of the south. Over the last 15 years, we have started to have diabetes because of lifestyle changes. We can’t handle it; We have no professional manpower to deal with diabetes.
That’s why this institution was established. We are not primary school; we are not secondary; We are junior college. We are working on a new type of disease – type 2 diabetes, which affects children under 10 years of age. But it’s not just us. The whole world suddenly changed, and even the country had no money. Unfortunately, Kuwait tops the gulf cooperation council (diabetes) country. In fact, we are now second (from first place). We are number three in the world, but now we are number nine. We have to get people to change their behavior. We look forward to the core of the future and the future – the younger generation. We have 365,000 diabetics: that’s the problem. If you look at the percentage of the population, we really don’t have to worry. In addition to that,
There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is when you’re born without insulin, and you can’t produce insulin. In Kuwait, about 200 people are born with type 1 diabetes each year. There is nothing to do but provide insulin. We have started to offer insulin pumps as an alternative. People are happy about that. This is not a big number. But any disease is massive, so we have to deal with it. We are looking at the future.
One of the biggest problems with type 2 diabetes is the apparent decline in age. It was over forty years old; We don’t even live as long as we do now. The problem is the change we offer in this country: coffee shops, fast food, etc. The age of developing type 2 diabetes has dropped to less than 10 years – not only here but in other countries as well. That’s the problem: the younger generation. They are the future.
We are dealing with this problem in many ways. We are at school. We also bring children here, where we teach them how diabetes is, how it works, and how to prevent it. They went home to change their parents’ opinions. They go home and do different things. We don’t want to be the second diabetes in GCC. We will work with them to study the package of countries we are close to.
The dasman diabetes institute was established in 2006 and is now recognized as the flagship entity in the country and region. What is its mission?
We have two departments here: one is the patient and the other is research. We are focusing on diabetes and its complications. We are looking at new areas of disease control and applying these materials to our country. The Numbers are there, the number of children we’ve seen so far – we’re coming to school or school.
Basically, we do research to learn new ways to deal with this disease. We are now concentrating on diabetes and its complications, but not necessarily diabetes. We want to find countries that cause diabetes. We look at genetics and we look at society. We have 150 staff working on this research, and our number of publications has increased to 45. We have a new publication showing new treatments for diabetes.
But our publications are not just about diabetes. They are also about other things. Diabetes is not just sugar, there are other reasons. This question is about how you actually live. Once you consume a certain amount of food, you must enter the cell. But if your cell type is wrong, and you eat a lot of sugar (on average, we eat a lot of it every day), then there’s a problem, because sugar has to go into the cell. But if it stays in your loop, it can damage your body’s organs. What we eat, how much we eat, how we don’t eat – we have to understand that. When a patient came to see us, we did a few things: first, we looked at the function of the blood by looking at the sugar level; Second, we look at food intake. The patient must walk a distance to understand the nutrition before seeing the doctor. This became his gift to his body to prevent diabetes.
You worked for the world health organization (WHO) and taught at Oxford University. How did your past experience benefit the dasman college?
You must return the knowledge you have obtained. People who come here have to attend classes. We have to make sure they understand, especially the younger generation. They must understand what will happen if they continue. We’re focused on darsmann’s kids because they’re the future.
When you talk about science and technology, there are no limits. It’s everywhere. If you want to be part of a better world, especially in these six countries, you have to learn from others. We have money. We need to use our knowledge to help others do what they are supposed to do. Otherwise, they wouldn’t know. People who develop diabetes don’t feel that for years, that’s when complexity comes along. But these people are the future, and that’s the problem. So I’m glad I have the opportunity to do something for my country.