The Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA) organised an outreach programme at the Hyatt Plaza Shopping Mall aimed at raising public awareness on diabetes in a fun way.
The initiative is part of a campaign by a group of young volunteers from ‘The Power of Health with Diabetes Team.'
“The objective is to ensure that children will remember the message,” Mohamed Khalid al-Saadi, special assistant for care programmes and regional chair for the Middle East and North Africa region at International Diabetes Federation, told Gulf Times.
QDA, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, wants to effectively send “key messages” about the disease to residents of all ages, particularly to the young generation.
Apart from free blood-test and medical consultation, the event also included puppet shows, stage performances, games, drawing and colouring, face painting, and sports competitions. Dozens of children also joined mascots in a walk-in-the-mall activity from 4pm.
Al-Saadi, who supervises the volunteers, said the event at Hyatt is part of a series of celebration to mark the World Diabetes Day (WDD), a worldwide awareness campaign, set every November 14 of each year.
Themed “Eyes on Diabetes” this year, several WDD activities will be held to promote the importance of screening, ensuring early diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes and treatment to reduce the risk of serious complications
According to QDA, the campaign was introduced in 1991 by IDF and the World Health Organisation “in response to the alarming rise of diabetes around the world.”
Al-Saadi noted that a large percentage of Qatar’s population are diabetics, a reason for them to “create more community awareness on diabetes and how to live with it without risks.”
“Diabetes will not prevent you from living your life but we have to know more about it before it happens to us,” he stressed.
He also advised diabetics to take their medicine as prescribed, follow a proper diet, have a regular medical checkup (including sugar, blood and other tests), and live an active and healthy lifestyle. These include engaging into sports and regular exercise such as cycling, walking, and going to the gym.
QDA encourages diabetics in Qatar to exercise and do some physical workout at its gym for free. “Thirty minutes of proper exercise a day is good, and it does not require strenuous activities,” the official explained.
QDA, in collaboration with Landmark Group, will also hold an awareness walkathon on November 11 from 3pm to 9pm at the Museum of Islamic Art Park. The participants will receive free t-shirts, caps, healthy snacks and water at the venue.
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