Abu Dhabi: A walkathon titled "Start Walking Prevent Diabetes" will be part of the World Diabetes Day programmes in Abu Dhabi starting this coming week.

World Diabetes Day falls on November 14 and marks the primary global awareness campaign of the International Diabetes Association (IDA) and the UN. It is marked worldwide by its 191 member associations of the International Diabetes Federation, as well as by other associations and organisations, healthcare professionals and individuals with an interest in diabetes.

This year four of the nation's leading voices in healthcare have pulled together in support of the campaign, namely the Emirates Foundation, Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD), UAE's leading centre for specialist diabetes care, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) and the Ministry of Health (MoH). The UAE is committed to try and stamp out diabetes which is said to affect 19.5 per cent of the population, or one in five people living in the UAE.

The Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), managed by Cleveland Clinic, is also organising a Diabetes Awareness Week at the Diabetic Centre, offering an education booth to the public and health professionals.

School students throughout the capital city, along with their families, are encouraged to attend diabetes awareness campaigns throughout the week and a number of planned visits with the cooperation of the Abu Dhabi School Health Administration, are scheduled to help educate youngsters through free diabetes testing, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight waist or Hip Ratio.

SKMC will also display a Diabetes Audio-Visual Presentation on a daily basis throughout the week and short discussion groups will be covering diabetic related issues; in addition a public symposium highlighting ways of treating diabetes in the UAE.