Beat Diabetes Walkathon returns to Jeddah

Beat Diabetes Walkathon returns to Jeddah
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Landmark Arabia launches its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative through the “Beat Diabetes Walk 2019” that took place in Jeddah for the second time on Saturday. (AN photo by Deema Al-Khudair)
Beat Diabetes Walkathon returns to Jeddah
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Moutasim Tarabzouni. (AN Photo by Deema Al-Khudair)
Updated 25 November 2019

Beat Diabetes Walkathon returns to Jeddah

Beat Diabetes Walkathon returns to Jeddah
  • The city’s citizens and residents took part in a 3 km walk along the New Corniche

JEDDAH: Landmark Arabia, a branch of the Landmark Group in Saudi Arabia, launched its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative through the “Beat Diabetes Walk 2019” that took place in Jeddah for the second time on Saturday. 

The event was part of Landmark’s efforts to raise awareness about diabetes in the region.

The city’s citizens and residents took part in a 3 km walk along the New Corniche, under the supervision of Landmark’s Chairwoman and CEO Renuka Jagtiani, along with a group of leaders from the Landmark Group.

According to International Diabetes Federation (IDF) data, there are about 4 million diabetic adults in Saudi Arabia, which ranks among the top 10 countries for the spread of the disease worldwide. Inactive lifestyles, unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical activity are key risk factors for developing diabetes.

Saudi television presenter Moutasim Tarabzouni presented the event and told Arab News that the walk was personal for him.

“The topic touched my heart, I sympathize with any disease. I underwent chemotherapy for seven years because of lymphatic cancer and I learned something: If I don’t resist, it will consume me. When I go on stage and talk to people who are diabetic, it resonates with me and what I want to tell them is that if I could overcome it, so can they.”

Whenever he participates in an event, he look for its message.

“The more valuable the message is, the more it draws me to it. This event is very valuable; it is a social and health education event. Such events raise health awareness and help people to understand the significance of treatment. There is treatment for everything but what this event is highlighting is the importance of lifestyle; it is your treatment, so is your exercise and food, in addition to the medication.”

Dr. Abdullah Fawaz, who supervised the diabetes in children campaign for King Abdulaziz University at the event, said: “We receive children for World Diabetes Day in a walk to combat diabetes. We raise awareness and conduct screenings for people to know if they are diabetic or not, especially children. Diabetes in the Kingdom has reached 22 percent since 2013 and 60 percent of them aren’t aware.”

Such health awareness events are important, he told Arab News. “We could go on about insulin injections and diabetes complications whether in the kidneys, limbs, or memory, and overall health. Children aren’t supposed to be diabetic, they should be healthy and run around and play. We are so used to a certain lifestyle that isn’t healthy, it’s sedentary.”

He advises parents to pay close attention to their children’s diet: “Keep your children active, get them into sports and cut down on sugar as much as possible. More fruits, less candies.” He added: “Get them to sleep early and avoid staying up late.”

Renuka Jagtiani, chairwoman and CEO of Landmark Group, told Arab News that the event aims to raise awareness about changing lifestyle. “Diabetes is about how people look after themselves and what they change. It’s not easy to look after, but it’s very possible and the earlier you start the better.”

She said: “To us, it’s quite amazing that this time we’ve done Saudi Arabia in Jeddah. We’ve been wanting to do it for a long time. It’s been so well received with a great atmosphere at the Corniche, I can’t ask for more.”

Ravi Krishnan, who heads Landmark’s operations in the region, told Arab News that Saudi Vision 2030 supported the event.

“It definitely helped in a huge way because when we did this event five years back — we’ve done it in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam — we never could do it on a large scale because of the restrictions that were in place, but now it’s a different Kingdom altogether and this is the future.”