Sharjah, one of the seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates, has launched the ‘Lets Walk’ campaign to spread the culture of walking and movement during the hot summer season, according to a statement.
The initiative was organised by several health bodies in the emirate, including the Friends for Diabetes, Friends of Kidney Patients and the Friends of Cancer Patients associations and the emirate’s Health Education Department.
The campaign is also offering free medical check-ups and tests. Obesity rates are high among residents in the UAE, and across the Gulf in general.
According to the International Diabetes Foundation, almost one in five people living in the UAE between the ages of 20 and 79 have type 2 diabetes, mirroring a similar trend of high prevalence rates for the illness across the region.
Diabetes and other lifestyle diseases are cited as one of the reasons why healthcare spending in the region is set to grow to $71.3 billion in 2020, up from $40.3 billion in 2015.
The ‘Lets Walk’ initiative is part of a wider health and tourism awareness campaign launched this year by Sharjah’s local government in cooperation with the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority and a number of local hospitals and organisations.
The emirate is also promoting several cultural and awareness events, including the forthcoming book trade fair that will be hosted in November.
Sharjah is also offering a series of cultural and entertainment activities during the Eid Al Adha festivities set to take place this weekend, including parades and a fire dance show on the Al Majaz waterfront.