Joslin announces first international affiliate in Bahrain

[Boston, December 11, 2003] -- Joslin Diabetes Center and the Gulf Diabetes Specialists Center in Bahrain have signed a five-year agreement to establish a state-of-the-art treatment center to provide specialty care for people with diabetes. Located in Manama next to the Salmaniya Medical Complex and Arabian Gulf University, the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate Bahrain is the region's first medical center devoted entirely to the treatment of diabetes and related complications. The new center is in the final stages of construction, and is expected to officially open early in 2004.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes currently affects more than 25.5 percent of the Bahraini population while 40 percent of the population is at risk of developing the disease. This is one of the highest population percentages with diabetes in the world. (See sidebar: separate document for additional background on diabetes in Bahrain.)

"The Middle East is facing a health crisis as a substantial percentage of its population either has diabetes or is at risk of developing diabetes," said C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., President and Director, Joslin Diabetes Center, and the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "This Affiliate relationship allows the expertise of Joslin to be transmitted to an outstanding team of Bahraini medical professionals and enables Joslin's proven approach to diabetes treatment to be brought to bear on this epidemic."

The agreement brings to Bahrain Joslin Diabetes Center's respected disease management programs designed to help prevent complications. The Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate Bahrain will leverage telemedicine technology that enables Joslin specialists in Boston to assess images of the retina using the Joslin Vision Network, a digital retinal evaluation tool that enables the early diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

In addition, the Bahrain center will have access

Contact: Marge Dwyer
Joslin Diabetes Center

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