Thousands join forces to battle diabetes

More than 8,000 residents responded to the global call for action against diabetes by joining in the walkathon from the Oasis Centre in Dubai to drum up awareness that everyone should “Beat Diabetes” and live.

Published: Fri 12 Nov 2010, 4:16 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:58 PM

Cricketing legend Wasim Akram also took part in the Beat Diabetes walk to drum up interest.

The walkathon comes as part of Landmark Group’s ongoing ‘Beat Diabetes’ campaign, a community-outreach initiative that aims to spread awareness about diabetes across the countries in which the group operates. The initiative was launched in the UAE in 2009. It will reach out to five other countries — Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and India – this month.

Renuka Jagtiani, Vice-Chairperson, Landmark Group, said: “We launched the Beat Diabetes campaign last year in the UAE, and received a phenomenal response from the community. Over 7,000 people underwent the free blood-glucose level test, the initial screening for diabetes. We are proud to have made a far-reaching impact to be able to initiate people into becoming more health conscious.”

The launch of Beat Diabetes, including a walkathon and a free blood glucose test at the Oasis Centre, has been rather hurried. “We had only three-and-a-half weeks — and a lot of conviction — to put the whole thing together,” Renuka remembers. “Consequently, there were no expectations really.”

Statistics from the International Diabetes Foundation show that over 425,000 residents suffer from the disease in UAE. Heart disease related to diabetes was the biggest killer in the UAE in 2008, accounting for over 30 per cent of the causes of death, according to a UAE Ministry of Health report.

A slew of new countries have come on to the Beat Diabetes radar this year. Next year, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Jordan will also come on board.

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