Under the banner of “Beirut Driving the Change in Diabetes,” global diabetes research and treatment leader Novo Nordisk joined forces with the Chronic Care Center to organize the first Diabetes Awareness Rally Paper in Beirut, held on foot and by bike to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
The event, which featured 16 stops on a route around central Beirut where participants had to answer diabetes-related questions, culminated with the formation of a human Blue Circle in the city’s downtown, symbolizing unity in the battle against the disease.
The event focused on encouraging people to realize their risk factors for developing diabetes, which include obesity, a family history of the disease, and lack of exercise.
“Novo Nordisk is committed to Changing Diabetes worldwide, and we are always eager to collaborate with entities such as the Chronic Care Center in Lebanon which share our vision for a future where fewer people get diabetes, and most who do are timely diagnosed and adequately treated so that they can live a life with as few limitations as possible,” said Stathis Psimmenos, Novo Nordisk Lebanon General Manager.
Michele Abi Saad, Director of Lebanon’s Chronic Care Center, a member of the International Diabetes Federation which has been providing medico-social support to more than 2,000 Type 1 diabetic children since 1993, highlighted the fact that the Center is starting to receive children suffering from type 2 diabetes, the type of diabetes more closely associated with lifestyle and usually prevalent among adults.
“There’s clearly a lifestyle factor in the rise of diabetes in Lebanon and around the world, stemming from inappropriate nutrition and lack of physical activity,” said Abi Saad.
“This is why a rally paper that involved people walking and biking around Beirut to answer questions about diabetes is so important – to encourage a healthier lifestyle and help prevent the disease or its complications by enhancing understanding of its facts,” added Psimmenos.
Only six percent of people with diabetes live a life free from related complications, based on what is called the ‘Rule of Halves’, which reflects the fact that only half of people with diabetes are diagnosed, of whom only half receive treatment, and again just half achieve treatment targets, with only half of this already relatively small group actually achieving desired outcomes of living without complications.
The 1st Beirut Driving the Change in Diabetes Rally Paper also highlighted the importance of private sector collaboration with entities fighting diabetes, with support provided from Carla’s Good Food, Class Sport, Cycling Circle, Nestlé Fitness, Nestlé Pure Life, Sanita, SOLIDERE, and Zaatar W Zeit.