(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Peninsula
Over 5,000 Qatar residents came together to raise awareness about diabetes during the 8th annual walkathon organised by the Landmark Group & Qatar Diabetes association.
Dr Abdulla Al Hamaq the Executive Director of Qatar Diabetes Association, Qatar Foundation said: 'During November, people from all over the world are taking part in Diabetes Walks to mark the World Diabetes Day. We organize our walkathon annually to create diabetes awareness and to recognize the people live with diabetes in Qatar and worldwide.
'By walking and during the whole day events we took important steps towards developing a wider understanding of the diabetes. We are indeed thankful and pleased with the partnership of the Landmark Group who are shared with us the responsibility in highlighting the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices. And I also would like to thank Qatar Foundation for their valuable support and efforts to make this walkathon a real success
Santosh Pai, COO Landmark Group Qatar, said: 'Every year, this platform helps to remind people of the magnitude of the threat posed by diabetes and the simplicity with which the condition can be managed. Through the Beat Diabetes initiative, Landmark Group encourages people to stay proactive about their own health and the well-being of their loved ones.
Starting at 2.30pm in the afternoon Oxygen park, Education City buzzed with participants in blue T shirts and Caps. Families gathered in excitement. Large groups representing schools and organizations cheered loudly in support of the walkathon and posed for group photos, while children lined-up to have their faces painted.
Fitness First led a pre-walkathon mass warm-up session that was followed by Santosh Pai & Dr. Abdulla Al Hamaq releasing blue balloons - symbolic of diabetes awareness - to flag off the walkathon. At the end of the 1.5 km walk, participants were treated to a complimentary healthy breakfast. To reinforce the core message of early detection, free blood glucose testing booths were set up at the venue.
Recent figures from the seventh edition of the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) Diabetes Atlas indicate that the number of people living with diabetes around the world is expected to rise from 415 million to 642 million by 2040. A sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits and low levels of awareness are noted as key contributors to the rapid incidence of type 2 diabetes in Middle East and North Africa.