Muscat: Around 6,000 people dressed in blue joined for a social cause participate in the third Beat Diabetes Walkathon. The walk, which was flagged off from Centrepoint Ruwi was organised under the patronage of the Ministry of Health and Oman Diabetic Association.
This event marked the culmination of a year-long timeline of diabetes awareness drives and activities being organised by the Landmark Group. Clive Freeman of Landmark Group Oman said, "Our aim is to spread awareness about diabetes and to help them make informed choices on eating and living healthy."
The number of diabetes patients is escalating day by day all over the world and in the Sultanate the number of Omanis living with diabetes and registered at MoH institutions has surpassed 170,000. The diabetes prevalence among adults is currently estimated at 12.3 per cent. Diabetes continues to bleed the budgets of all health care systems threatening sustainability if preventive measures are not implemented.
Dr Noor Al Busaidi, President of Oman Diabetes Association said, "I'm extremely grateful to everyone who has gathered here for a social cause. Diabetes has become a very serious concern across the globe and especially in Sultanate, where the incidence of diabetes is extremely high. This is a result of a lot of factors put together - unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, lack of exercise."
Ali Mallalah Al Lawati thanked every participant of the walk and said, "We hope that this initiative will usher in a positive change in people's mindset about diabetes. We can make a start from this moment and reflect upon our lifestyles to lead a healthier life."
The walkathon was preceded by a month-long awareness campaign where over 1,000 free blood glucose tests were conducted all over Oman. The campaign was actively supported by Al Raffa Hospital and Johnson & Johnson–Lifescan. Nissan from Suhail Bhawan Automobiles, TRA, Oman Oil Company and Renaissance Services SAOG also supported the drive.
The on-going efforts towards spreading awareness about diabetes has reached thousand residents in the Sultanate and over 150,000 people across the region have got their blood glucose levels tested since the inception of the initiative.