As part of its commitment to educate children about diabetes, the Ministry of Health and Prevention, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Sanofi, hosted an awareness event at the Dubai Festival City Mall in line with its ‘Kids and Diabetes in Schools’ (Kids) program. The program aims to promote better understanding of the impact of the disease on kids and highlight the role of families and the entire community members in the effective management of diabetes. This year, the reach of the initiative went beyond the confines of the schools to raise community awareness about key health issues.
H.E. Dr. Hussein Abdel-Rahman Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Clinics and Centers, said: “The children are the future of the UAE. Investing in and educating them about their health will guarantee a healthy and happy society. Using innovative approaches, ‘Kids’ highlights the importance of fostering a positive environment to helps diabetic children. As such, we implement initiatives to combat childhood obesity, prevent diabetes and provide them with comprehensive healthcare services delivered in innovative and sustainable ways. Major programs such as ‘Kids’ enable us to prevent the spread of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases and reduce the prevalence of such medical conditions in the population according to the goals of UAE 2021 National Agenda.”
Dr. Najla Hussain Sajwani, Head of School Health Section and Consultant Family Medicine, Ministry of Health and Prevention, added: “This educational program, in partnership with Sanofi, the International Diabetes Federation and the International Society for Pediatrics and Adolescent Diabetes, brings people together from across diverse communities so that they can actively take measures to prevent the occurrence of diabetes within their families. The activities at the Dubai Festival City Mall provided fun and engaging experience to children, while increasing their knowledge about the disease. It was heartening to witness their enthusiasm and eagerness while participating in all our lined-up events during that day. We hope to organize similar initiatives in the future.”
Utilizing recreational methods, the ‘Kids’ program includes several educational and interactive games to encourage the participation of children and their parents, who play an important role in promoting healthy and positive behaviors in kids to achieve long-term management of diabetes.
During the awareness event, a corner was set up where children could color fun characters who promote the importance of eating healthy food and engaging in physical activity. Other activities included the ‘Spin the Wheel’ competition which saw the young participants winning exciting prizes for correctly answering the questions about diabetes; and Jenga game which challenged the physical and mental skills of the participating children, who were required to read and comprehend the information about diabetes written on the blocks while stacking these blocks to build a tower.
Another was the ‘Health Heroes’ smart application which allowed children to explore various fun games and interact with the app’s main characters, Mane’a and Salama, via a screen display. Some of the smart games were preventive adventures of Mane’a, healthy cooking, smart shopping, and jumping and 3D games.
"We are proud to support the Ministry of Health and Prevention in this event. As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, we extend all help to ensure the success of ‘Kids’ and other similar endeavors promoting healthy life in children to prevent type 2 diabetes," said Jean-Paul Scheuer, Country Chair and General Manager for Sanofi Gulf.