Saadyiyat-based DNA center for integrative medicine and wellness has appointed international cricket celebrity Mr. Wasim Akram as its Brand Ambassador to spread awareness on some diseases including diabetes and obesity which are widespread in the UAE and other parts of the Gulf region.
Wasim Akram, ranked as the best left-arm bowler and one of the greatest cricketers ever produced in the history of international cricket spanned over 150 years, holds unique and exceptional records in the game. Having more than 900 victims and 6,000 runs in his international career of 20 years, he played key role and was the ‘Best Player of the Final Match” in the 1992 Cricket World Cup for Pakistan’s triumph.
Akram is now considered as one of the leading Cricket commentators and experts globally, and also coaches Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Indian Premier League who won the IPL championship a couple weeks ago.
“We are pleased to announce this appointment which will help people follow better and healthier lifestyles that will ensure them a better life,” the center’s CEO Dr. Nasim Ashraf said in a statement.
Mr Akram said he was delighted by the appointment and vowed to “do my best” to represent the center in international and regional sport, social and medical events.
“I myself have diabetes…so it is my duty as a professional sport man to work through the DNA center to spread awareness about this disease and how to prevent it or to live with it…this disease is widespread in many communities including the UAE, where nearly 37% are suffering from it,” the 48-year-old celebrity said.
“This is a very high and alarming rate…efforts should be exercised by DNA center and the Abu Dhabi Health Authority to fight it.”
Mr Akram endorsed the wellness, integrative medicine & healthy aging services offered by DNA and said he would participate in DNA-sponsored events in the UAE, Pakistan, India, Britain, the US and other countries to highlight this disease, adding that he would also stage a seminar at the DNA center on Saadiyat on November 14 to be attended by well known doctors and experts to speak about diabetes.
Mr Akram, who had played Cricket in Sharjah for nearly 20 years before settling in the UK, said he believes diabetes is a major threat to public health and development worldwide, adding that official data showed that more than 300 million people are suffering from this disease and that the figure could exceed 500 million.
Nearly 8.5% of the adults in Europe have diabetes while six Arab countries-the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Egypt-are among the 10 nations having the highest diabetes rate in the world, he added.
He said figures also showed that diabetes kills nearly 290,000 people in the region every year and that this should prompt urgent measures to combat the disease.
Mr Akram said he had agreed with DNA center to educate the public about diabetes and how to prevent it through healthier meals, less fast food meals and regular exercise.
“I have defeated this disease through regular exercise and following a healthy lifestyle…I now live a normal life although I have suffered from diabetes for nearly 20 years…awareness and early diagnosis and detection is the magic key to deal with diabetes…we have to change our lifestyles and avoid sitting at computer and TV sets for long periods of time.”
Dr. Ashraf spoke about the DNA center and its innovative treatment ways, including for such diseases as diabetes, obesity, heart problems, tensions and depression.
He disclosed that the Centre would offer new packages during Ramadan to help fasting Muslims against obesity and guide them on ways to stay fit.