UAE: International walking challenge launched for People of Determination

Initiative by Zayed Higher Organization will enable them to walk and improve walking capabilities


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Thu 21 Jul 2022, 5:18 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 Jul 2022, 5:20 PM

An international walking challenge for People of Determination, which aims to improve their walking capabilities, has been rolled out in the UAE.

The Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO) has partnered with Hocoma, a firm manufacturing and marketing robotic and sensor-based devices for functional movement therapy, to launch “Small steps to a great journey”, an international initiative enabling People of Determination to walk cross-country distances.

The initiative reinforces ZHO’s commitment to helping People of Determination overcome challenges in society.

“Small steps to a great journey” will begin in Abu Dhabi with People of Determination using Hocoma’s Lokomat to learn how to walk or improve walking capabilities, before continuing to Istanbul, Turkey (in partnership with Memorial Şişli Hospital), Zagreb, Croatia (in partnership with GLAVIĆ Clinic), and concluding in Zurich, Switzerland, where groups of rehab patients will carry on the challenge in each city.

During the walk, steps and distance will be monitored throughout as the participants collectively will be encouraged to walk the distance of travel between each city and complete a virtual journey.

Concluding at the end of the year, “Small steps to a great journey” will inspire rehab patients in their daily efforts towards improvement as they undergo gait physical therapy using Lokomat.

Abdullah Al Humaidan, ZHO’s Secretary General, said: “The ‘Small steps to a great journey’ initiative will see People of Determination stand up and walk across markets, some for the very first time which is hugely inspiring.

“State-of-the-art robot-assisted technology and therapists will support participants as they walk vast distances and push boundaries. We expect this initiative to empower participants.”

Mitja Hribar, Director – International Sales, Hocoma, said: “Small steps to a great journey” encourages all Lokomat users to join the initiative launched by Zayed Higher Organization, Memorial Şişli Hospital, and GLAVIĆ Clinic, to promote the importance of perseverance and teamwork.

Engin Çakar, Prof. Dr., Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Robotic Rehabilitation Center, Memorial Şişli Hospital, said: “We motivate our patients to take one more step every day with patience and dedication. And while doing this, we use scientific methods and the latest technological developments. In recent years, technological developments in the field of rehabilitation have provided significant benefits to patients and specialists.”

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