Time to act

health-nov-12-1

Clive Freeman, COO, Landmark Group – Oman speaks to Muhammed Nafie about the Landmark Group’s Beat Diabetes walkathon on November 16, 2012 and the ongoing success of the campaign.

The annual campaign against diabetes has been part of you CSR initiative since 2009. How effective has the campaign been in generating awareness?

In 2009, Landmark Group launched the Beat Diabetes initiative in UAE as part of its long term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy. Aimed at creating awareness about the causes, effects and dangers of this condition, the initiative has gathered tremendous momentum over the last four years.

The initiative was extended to five new countries including Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and India in 2010 and last year the group extended the initiative to KSA, and in the process organised a series of walkathons in six countries, which drew the participation of over 35,000 people, and over 40,000 people took the free blood glucose tests. The initiative also witnessed several activities all year-around, with a common goal of ‘spreading awareness about the condition’.

In 2011, Landmark Group joined hands with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), becoming their first retail corporate supporter partner.

Can you explain the various activities that the group will be conducting as part of the campaign?
Several community outreach activities are organised all year round in the countries the campaign is spread in and all these cumulate with the Beat Diabetes Walkathons in November. In Oman, we are reaching out to various private corporations, universities, labour camps and cities like Sohar and Salalah to spread awareness about diabetes.

Free blood-glucose test and consultation camps are already underway in most of these places. We have also set up testing centre’s in various ministries like Ministry of Health and TRA offices.

How was the response from the public been to the Beat Diabetes walkathon over the years?
We have received tremendous response from the local communities in all the seven countries the campaign currently runs. In Oman, since the launch in 2010, the last two editions of walkathon had seen participation from over 5,000 people and more than 4,000 residents took the test at various test camps.

What are your plans to expand the reach of the campaign to more people in Oman and other GCC countries?
Since the launch of the initiative in 2009, the campaign has spread to seven countries. And in the coming years we will extend this to many other countries where the Landmark Group operates. This year in Oman we will be conducting blood glucose testing in various places and will continue to reach out to private organisations, universities and government offices.

Do you want to make more public organisations and community groups involved in the campaign?
The Beat Diabetes initiative is a public service initiative by the Landmark Group. The goal of the initiative is to spread awareness about diabetes in the countries where the Group operates.

Since its inception, the Beat Diabetes initiative has worked with local governments, industry partners and several support groups, all with the common motive of spreading awareness. In Oman our partners have been Al Raffah hospital, Johnson & Johnson, Fitbody and Oasis water. In the future, we will continue to partner with other like-minded organisations, to ensure that we reach out to as many people as possible.


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