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Walk for a cause

As we near the World Diabetes Day, it is noteworthy to reflect on the seriousness of the health condition that affects millions worldwide. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of deaths globally, and over 537 million people have been impacted by the condition as on date. Dubbed the ‘silent pandemic’, every eight seconds someone in the world dies of diabetes – that’s three times more people in a year compared to COVID.

According to World Health Organisation [WHO], diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths worldwide in 2019 alone.[1] What is noteworthy is that global statistics show that nearly 50% of the cases can go undiagnosed. For instance, Type 2 diabetes accounts for 91% of diagnosed diabetes and can go undetected for about 10 years!

Talking closer to us, 73 million diabetics live in the Middle East and North Africa region.[2] The number of diabetes cases in the MENA region is rising year-on-year! By 2045, the total cases in the MENA region could rise to 135.7 million. UAE is battling this condition too, with one in five people living with the condition.

To raise awareness about diabetes in the region, to support early detection, and to improve care among the UAE’s communities, Landmark Group – the region’s leading retail and hospitality conglomerate, has been championing the cause with the Beat Diabetes social impact initiative over the past 13 years. The endeavour is to make the community aware about the risks and complications of diabetes, urge residents to test regularly and encourage healthy & active lifestyle choices to curb the impact.

Renuka Jagtiani, Chairwoman of Landmark Group, said: “Driving diabetes awareness is very close to our hearts at Landmark Group. This condition is primarily associated with lifestyle and like many families in the region, we too have faced diabetes and learnt to manage it as a family. We began this initiative in 2009 to highlight the importance of small lifestyle changes and healthier choices which can allow people to live a better quality of life while dealing with diabetes.

“We are very grateful for the leadership of the country, our strategic partners and our entire community that have come together year on year to make this initiative successful. What started as a Beat Diabetes Walk around the Oasis Mall, today attracts thousands of walkers, and engages communities across the region. Through the Beat Diabetes initiative, we aim remain committed to the cause, and it is our pledge to keep raising awareness and facilitating easier access to life-saving treatments for diabetes.”

Last year, the Group became the first and only corporate from the GCC to join the WHO’s Global Diabetes Compact Forum.

Since the launch of the campaign in 2009, Landmark Group has partnered with various public, private, and non-profit organisations, and been supported by over 125,000 participants [including 30,000 children] across the GCC and beyond.[3] In the UAE, the Walk is supported by Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Sports Council and Al Jalila Foundation.

His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council added: “At Dubai Sports Council, we are committed to working with and encouraging partners in the private sector to join and support the wise leadership’s vision of turning Dubai into one of the most physically active places on the planet, and creating a vibrant, healthy, and happy community. We are proud to be partnering with Landmark Group’s Beat Diabetes initiative since its inception, which not only helps us build awareness about diabetes but also reinforces the importance of the community coming together to embrace an active lifestyle.”

Dr. Amer Al Zarooni, Acting CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “Since our inception in 2013, Al Jalila Foundation has supported ground-breaking research that addresses health challenges prevalent in the region, including diabetes and cancer. We are thankful to Landmark Group for their contribution from the Beat Diabetes Initiative over the years, which has helped us in expanding our research portfolio and going that extra mile in facilitating treatments to those who needed it most.”

The Beat Diabetes Walk has helped raised a total of AED 14 million over the years for the research and treatment of diabetes. Earlier this year, the Group also committed AED 5 million as Beat Diabetes Fund to Al Jalila Foundation over the next five years.

What to expect at Beat Diabetes 2022

On November 12, Landmark Group will host the 13th edition of the Beat Diabetes Walk at a new venue – Safa Park. Gates open at 7am followed by the 3.8-km walk around the Dubai Water Canal.

In addition to some of the popular activities from last year like Bollywood & Zumba dancing, this year’s highlights include

  • Human Foosball,
  • Bungee Run,
  • Obstacle Course and
  • Giant Jenga amongst sports like basketball.
  • DHA will also conduct free blood sugar testing, BMI testing as well as offer health and nutrition consultations for all participants.

The proceeds from this charity event will be donated to Al Jalila Foundation for the treatment of diabetes and related complications.

Taking a step further, for every 10,000 steps that participants complete through the Beat Diabetes challenge on the Steppi app during the event, Landmark Group will donate 10 AED towards the Beat Diabetes Fund at Al Jalila Foundation, for the medical treatment of patients suffering from diabetes and related complications.

For those who like to be dressed for the occasion, a stylish outfit in blue [to go with the colour of the Beat Diabetes Initiative could win someone the Most Stylish Walker prize!

For more information: Go to the website www.beatdiabetes.me

                                    Instagram: @beat.diabetes

                                    Facebook: Beat Diabetes


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