20th January 2020, Dubai, UAE – The Middle East Arthritis Foundation (MEAF) is encouraging the UAE community to join the momentum on 21st February and be part of the organization’s nationwide signature event - ‘2020 Walk for Arthritis’ Walkathon. Open to the public and supported by Dubai Municipality, the event is organized with the aim to remove the stigma associated with the debilitating disease and provide support in various ways to reintegrate those affected by arthritis into the society.
Keeping with the tradition, the participants of the walkathon will cover 3.5km along the Dubai Creek Park (Gate 2) starting at 8am to enjoy a morning walk with friends and family as well as propagate awareness about arthritis, spark real change and help individuals with this condition to improve the quality of their life.
Speaking on the occasion, Consultant Rheumatologist and Founding Member of MEAF, Dr. Humeira Badsha said, “This walkathon for arthritis patients helps us break the myth that such patients cannot lead a normal life and also acts as a great plateau buster for them to renew their motivation, build camaraderie with other patients and caregivers who are there to extend their complete support. With the right knowledge and lifestyle, one won’t just manage his/her arthritis, but will thrive in spite of it.”
“These walkathons are also beneficial in bringing people together and forming support groups to share similar experiences, coping strategies or firsthand information about treatments and celebrating the warriors along the way. Arthritis is the world’s most prevalent disease, but this fact comes as a shock for most of the general public. We are happy to see our foundation contributing to this noble cause of spreading awareness among the participants and their loved ones to stay healthy and build positive mindset,” added Dr. Badsha.
With more than 50 million people diagnosed with some form of arthritis across the globe as well as one in five people in the UAE, the need of the hour is to introduce preventive measures and create awareness for early diagnosis that can prevent the disease from developing and reduce the need for the patient to undergo surgeries or painful procedures.
‘2020 Walk for Arthritis’ Walkathon will have the presence of specialised doctors on-site to bust some of the common misconceptions about bone health and highlight the symptoms to look out for early detection of arthritis.
Lots of family-themed fun-filled activities are scheduled during the day keeping all age groups in mind. Prior to refreshing walk in the park, the participants can look forward to outdoor fitness classes and vibrant dance performance with a side of much-needed Vitamin D; a super-hero themed fancy-dress competition to celebrate the warriors, with various prizes to win; and a lot more.
Sanria Khan, an active member of the Middle East Arthritis Foundation and the lead organiser of the event said: "Walking and raising awareness for a cause is as good as supporting a loved one through their journey of pain. This year’s Walk For Arthritis has everything you love — plus fun, new ways to get involved in the fight. Connect with others who share your passion to encourage our Arthritis Warriors. Together, we all can change the future of Arthritis. These walks are opportunities for community awareness and learning. It feels wonderful for Arthritic Warriors to be surrounded by people who understand what they are going through—people who can relate to things from weekly injections and morning stiffness to knee surgery and canes.”
Many organizations across the UAE such as Pfizer, Abbvie, Janssen, Novartis, Amgen, Haul Ways Transport along with students from various schools and universities are actively supporting the awareness campaign and have pledged to be a part of the walkathon to fight for a future that is pain-free.
To register for the ‘2020 Walk for Arthritis’ for yourself or in support of a loved one, visit www.arthritis.ae/walkforarthritis/ or call +971 50 534 3182; for more information about this event, follow the Foundation on Facebook: Emirates Arthritis Foundation.