Dasman Diabetes Institute (DDI), a leading campaigner for diabetes awareness in Kuwait, held a beneficial event to commemorate World Diabetes Day on Thursday, 12th November, 2015 at its premises. The event allowed visitors to consult with diabetes specialists and dieticians, gather healthy information from booths that explained the different aspects of diabetes and its related complications, as well as promoted healthy lifestyle modification. Around 1,000 guests attended the event, underlining the interest Kuwait possesses to prevent and manage this escalating lifestyle disease.

Many of the booths at the event were focused on educating visitors on proper dietary habits, maintaining physical activities, and manage oral health. At this event, other community partners shared informative booths as well, including the Kuwait Diabetes Society, Kuwait Pharmacists Society, Oral Health Program (Ministry of Health), and others, that provided assistance and guidance to the visitors. There were also various booths from volunteer organizations and exercise clubs promoting proper fitness regimens, supporting the youth and those willing to improve their quality of life and well-being such as the “Blue Circle”.

During the World Diabetes Day event the “Prevention of Diabetes Complications” campaign was launched. This is an organizational wide initiative spearheaded and coordinated by the Education & Training Department and the Public Relations & Media Services Department. The primary goal of the campaign is to prevent the complications of those suffering from diabetes through raising awareness, and empowering them to proactively take control of their diabetes and improve their quality of life. The main key messages included: controlling your blood sugar, managing your cholesterol, keeping your blood pressure in check, remembering your kidneys, looking out for your eyes, and examining your feet. The campaign slogan is “Life is better without complications.” and was promoted on social media with the hashtag STOPcomplications.

As part of diabetes management, lectures were organized in the auditorium, delivering additional information, as well as empowering and educating participants about diabetes care. Due to the fact that some diabetic patients are unable to cook healthy meals, a live cooking demonstration emphasizing cooking nutritious international and Kuwaiti recipes was available for guests to watch and learn from, in collaboration with the Peruvian Embassy in Kuwait. The event reflected an exciting environment for everyone, and the activities were tailored towards young children through fun shows featuring mascots, a magic show, and other fun activities.

DDI’s awareness event also provided free testing by professional staff who conducted screenings for blood glucose and HbA1c, as well as body measurements. These tests help physicians determine those who are prone to diabetes, and provided them with free consultations to teach them how to better manage their diabetes.

Holding such events and activities stems from Dasman Diabetes Institute’s mission statement, where health promotion and awareness are a priority for the Institute. Since its establishment by the Kuwait Foundation of the Advancement of Sciences in 2006, the Institute organizes and takes part in many events and campaigns annually to shed light on diabetes and health as a whole. This is in accordance with the Institute’s belief that “prevention is better than cure”.