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November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Support groups to increase awareness activities among children

Gulf News

Dubai: The fight against diabetes will intensify starting November 1, as the UAE joins countries around the world in support of National Diabetes Awareness Month. And awareness activities will have a new target audience — children.

According to the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) figures, deaths related to diabetes will continue to double globally until 2030. The estimate is alarming for the UAE which has one of the highest rates of diabetes prevalence in the world.

Several awareness campaigns through glucose testing, workshops and walkathons will be organised by health authorities and support groups in the UAE.

Speaking to Gulf News, Dr Abdul Razzaq Ali Al Madani, president of the Emirates Diabetes Society and CEO of Dubai Hospital, said that there will definitely be an increase in activities to raise awareness. He said that efforts are being made to concentrate on a younger age bracket. “Increasingly, youngsters are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, so we are targeting several of our awareness campaigns at school children,” he said.

Corporates too are rallying in support of the month. The Landmark Group has been involved in spreading diabetes awareness in the GCC and India through its initiative — Beat Diabetes since 2009. Bhuvana Acharya, head — corporate communications and CSR, Landmark Group, told Gulf News that the group supports any initiative that inculcates a better understanding of the needs of children with diabetes in the society.

The disease is associated with severe morbidity and premature death. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that lifestyle changes, such as moderate weight loss and increased physical activity, can prevent or delay onset of type 2 diabetes among adults at high risk, and effective interventions are available to reduce the incidence of diabetes complications.