Alwaleed Osman (second from left) hands over the Guinness Record certificate to Dr. Azad Moopen (third from left) and Alisha Moopen (first from left). They were joined by Shamsudheen Bin Mohideen (extreme right) and T J Wilson. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: UAE-headquartered Aster DM Healthcare has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for conducting the largest number of diabetes screening among blue-collar workers in 24 hours.

The group screened 12,714 people from the labour accommodations in Dubai Investment Park -2 during the 24-hour camp that was held between November 19 and 20.

The Guinness Award certificate for the “most pre-diabetes/diabetes screening forms completed in 24 hours” was presented to Dr. Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, by an Official Adjudicator from Guinness World Records (GWR) at a ceremony held in Dubai on Monday night. Dr Moopen was joined by Alisha Moopen, deputy managing director, T J Wilson - executive director and Group Head Governance and Corporate Affairs and Shamsudheen Bin Mohideen, non-executive director, Aster DM Healthcare.

Upon receiving the record certificate, Dr Moopen said, “Aster is proud to find a place in the Guinness World Records for testing 12714 people for diabetes mellitus within 24 hours. This is aimed at finding out those who are already afflicted as well as at risk of this silent killer, to help them take curative and preventative measures. We are happy that we could do this among low-income blue-collar workers, who don’t have ready access to testing and treatment. Aster will provide follow-up testing and medical aid to people who were detected to be diabetic in the camp.”

Why testing is important

Speaking to Gulf News later, he said the camp aimed to encourage people to test for diabetes considering the high prevalence of the chronic condition that can create serious complications if left untreated.

“Testing will help us to take care of ourselves before we become sick and have to go to the doctor and avoid the complications of diabetes. And that is the most important message we would like to give through this. It is such a simple test and inexpensive. It’s once you know that you have diabetes that you can be careful. You can very well manage it with lifestyle modifications and take treatment only if it is necessary.”

He said Aster would follow up with the companies and the workers who were diagnosed as diabetic. “Most people have got health insurance coverage. But if people don’t have coverage, we will definitely provide them free of cost testing as well as the treatment for the diabetic patients. Companies are also very supportive in providing such medications as well as testing devices.”

Alwaleed Osman, the official adjudicator of Guinness, declared the group as “officially amazing” and said: “It is great to see that Guinness World Records titles are inspiring humanitarian causes such as these.”

New record

He told Gulf News that GWR had set 3,000 as the minimum number of screenings to set the new record in this category. “It was way higher than that. They did more than four times that to set the new record.”

The 24-hour diabetes screening camp was inaugurated in the presence of senior officials from the UAE Ministry of Labour, Dubai Police, Dubai Health Authority, and Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, along with senior officials from the healthcare group. With the objective of raising diabetes awareness among low-income workers in the UAE, the initiative saw active participation from residents of the labour accommodations.

Apart from the free diabetes screening, workers were also educated to identify the early symptoms of diabetes and the need to get checked on time. For those detected with the disease, guidance was provided on the next steps of medical care and how to best manage and live with diabetes.