Zahid Hussain Zakir Hussain receiving the prize from Dr Raza Siddiqui for being the overall winner of the RAK Diabetes Challenge 2023-1700045348561
Zahid Hussain receiving prize from Dr Raza Siddiqui for being the overall winner of the RAK Diabetes Challenge 2023 Image Credit: Supplied

Ras Al Khaimah: A UAE-based Pakistani Zahid Hussain has emerged as winner of the RAK Diabetes Challenge 2023.

Zahid Hussain, 39-year-old shipping professional residing in Ras Al Khaimah, claimed the top prize of Dh5000 in the Physical Category Male. He demonstrated an outstanding HbA1c reduction from 10.49 to 6.59. HbA1c is your average blood glucose (sugar) levels for the last two to three months.

Sapana Joshi Chattani Prakash, a 42-year-old Indian teacher in Dubai got first prize in the Female category bagging cash prize of Dh5000 too with an HbA1c reduction from 8.85 to 6.5.


The winners were honoured at an award ceremony on Wednesday concluding the three-month-long RAK Diabetes Challenge 2023 (RAKDC23), a flagship diabetes awareness initiative by RAK Hospital in collaboration with MOHAP- RAK (Ministry of Health and Prevention- Ras Al Khaimah). The community-driven programme witnessed participation of nearly 5000 individuals from across the UAE.

Winners of the RAK Diabetes Challenge 2023 with RAK Hospital Senior Management and Dignitaries-1700045346433
Winners of the RAK Diabetes Challenge 2023 with RAK Hospital Senior Management and Dignitaries

Launched on Aug. 18, 2023, the challenge aimed to instill lifestyle changes, focusing on dietary adjustments and regular exercise for effective diabetes management. The ceremony attended by Khalid Abdulla Mohammed Al Shehhi, Director of the Representative Office, Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) — Ras Al Khaimah, celebrated the commitment and achievements of the participants.

Three categories

Competing in three categories — Physical, Virtual, and Corporate — the participants engaged in a 12-week challenge culminating on World Diabetes Day, November 14, 2023.

The second and third-prize winners in both male and female categories received cash prizes of Dh3000 and Dh2000, respectively.

In the virtual category, Vinod kumar Sasidharanasan and Rejeena Saji emerged as winners in the male and female categories respectively receiving gift vouchers from various sponsors including staycations in 5-star properties and gym memberships, among other exciting rewards.

Health check up

Additionally, the top 10 participants from across all categories received a complimentary RAK Hospital Swiss Health Check Voucher worth AED 1500 each.

In the Corporate team Challenge; Stevin Rock secured the Champions Trophy for the maximum number of employee participation, while Saqr Port received the award for the most improved biomarkers for diabetes.

Top winner Zahid Hussain said: “My happiness knows no bounds. I have never been this fit, happy, and full of enthusiasm. I look good, feel good, and feel healthy, and the credit for all this goes to RAK Hospital for organising a challenge like this.”

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Life saviour

Commending the RAK Hospital Diabetes Challenge, Sapna Joshi said: “It was a life saviour for me. My health indicators were chaotic and I was under extreme stress. That’s when I resolved to bring my health back on track. I’m committed to sustaining this journey with my diet and exercise routine. Winning this challenge is a tremendous blessing, and I’m delighted to inspire others.”

Dr Raza Siddiqui, Executive Director, RAK Hospital, said: “RAK Diabetes Challenge 2023 is a huge leap towards leading society from illness to wellness. With almost 100% of participants registering above their normal healthy weight range, these statistics underscore the direct correlation between weight and diabetes.”

Winners list

Physical Category (Male)

1. Zahid Hussain Zakir Hussain

2. Inam Ul Hasan.

3. Sabareeswaran Mahalingam

Physical Category (Female)

1. Sapana Joshi Chattani Prakash

2. Saira Waseem Malik Muhammad

3. Lourdes Mapoy Dimaunahan

Virtual Category (Male)

1. Vinodkumar Sasidharanasan

2. Mohammad Iqbal Abdul Kareem

Virtual Category (Female)

1. Rejeena Saji

2. Ancy Renji

Corporate Category Winners

1. Stevin Rock — Maximum Participation

2. Saqr Port — Most Improved