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Abu Dhabi’s Walk UAE 2007 hailed a success

United Arab Emirates: Saturday, November 24 - 2007 @ 16:10

Walk UAE, which took place on 23rd November 2007 is part of the nationwide public health awareness ampaign, ‘DIABETES.KNOWLEDGE.ACTION.’, by Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), in association with Emirates Foundation.

His Excellency was joined by HAAD’s chairman and CEO, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Dr. Michael Bitzer CEO and senior officials of the National Health Insurance Company – Daman and Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), among other leading corporations.

Event organisers, ICLDC confirmed that almost 5,000 participants were head counted, including children and baby strollers: “We have registered just over 4,250 walkers comprising individuals and corporate teams, but when under-twelve’s are included, the number who actually joined the walk in the nation’s fight against diabetes is estimated at just under 5,000 – and we are thrilled,” said Johnny Hazboun, WALK UAE’s project leader. He said that the walkathon received exceptionally strong support from corporate firms, individuals and the media.

Walk UAE is just one of many nationwide activities organised (so far this year) to throw the spotlight on the debilitating disease. Daman, joined hands with ICLDC, to drive the walkathon initiative as the event’s exclusive sponsor. ADTA also put its weight behind the event.

Dr. Maha Taysir Barakat, Endocrinologist and Medical & Research Director at Abu Dhabi’s ICLDC acknowledge the success : “In this first year, since its launch in February 2007, the ‘DIABETES.KNOWLEGE.ACTION.’ campaign has united thousands of UAE nationals and residents in support of the diabetes cause. More than 30,000 people have received consultation as a result of ‘I WONDER’ roaming diabetes screening booth, now at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, supported by HSBC Middle East, and the display of support for this walkathon is outstanding.’
She said that the World Health Organization reports that approximately 150 million people worldwide have diabetes, and the number is projected to double by the year 2025. Meanwhile, the UAE has second highest diabetes prevalence in the world with 19.6%.

The walkathon started near the Marina Mall area at 3pm on Friday, November 23 2007 and hundreds of ‘diabetes-blue’ balloons were released to mark the event. Following the opening ceremony, young Emirati volunteers from Emirates Foundation lined the route to cheer on the thousands of walkers and to give them a hand, if needed. The walk ended with a spectacular UAE traditional dance performance and a prize draw.

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Saturday, November 24- 2007 @ 16:10 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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