First BA Regional Workshop on the Epidemiology of
Diabetes & Other Non-Communicable Diseases
5-13 January 2009

About the Workshop

                  After centuries of struggle to combat and eradicate many infectious diseases, we are now witnessing an alarming non-infectious disease mortality transition. Ironically, part of that burden could have resulted from the success in prevention or treatment of many communicable diseases, such that individuals who would have died in childhood will now survive and become susceptible to various non-communicable diseases. Furthermore, the shifts in social and economic patterns seen favor the detrimental changes in risk factors for many non-communicable diseases seen today. Fortunately many of them are largely preventable. Non-communicable diseases are, in fact, sweeping the entire globe, with the brunt on developing countries. By 2020, it is predicted that these diseases will be causing seven out of every 10 deaths in developing countries. (1)

                  The astounding figures of morbidity and mortality due to chronic non-communicable diseases call for urgent prioritization. Having to deal with the double burden of infective and non-infective diseases in these countries imposes more constraints on the existing health systems. This calls for a shift from programs aiming at treating non-communicable diseases to those more involved in risk factor prevention and health promotion.

                  The First BA Regional Workshop on the Epidemiology of Diabetes and Other Non-Communicable Diseases is a joint program between the Bibliotheca Alexandrina  and the WHO Collaborating Centre in Pittsburgh and supported by the World Diabetes Foundation. The training course discusses the different non-communicable diseases we face today. It will examine the various risk factors, the situation in the Middle East and North Africa Region as well as the epidemiology and statistical tools needed for situational analyses and program evaluation. It will shed light more closely on diabetes research, epidemiology, education and prevention. The course is a mixture of lectures, practical sessions and tutorials. The goal is to target prevention, not clinical care. We seek to build a global network of collaboration between young researchers and health professional involved in research on diabetes and other non-communicable diseases. By the dawn of the third millennium with the pressing urge for action, our goal is to assist young scientists and health professionals in the Region and worldwide in their quest to combat this challenging epidemic.

(1) Abdesslam Boutayeb and Saber Boutayeb (2005). The burden of non communicable diseases in developing countries. International Journal for Equity in Health 4(2). Retrieved September 10, 2008, from