4 December، 2023

News from Emirates

Middle East Arthritis Foundation (MEAF) organizes UAE Walkathon to raise awareness about the disease

Supported by the Dubai Municipality and Government, the 2022 Walk of Arthritis brings patients and the UAE Community together to beat and spread knowledge on the importance of strong bone health

15 March 2022, Dubai, UAE – The Middle East Arthritis Foundation (MEAF) will organize a signature nationwide event — the ‘2022 Walk of Arthritis’ Walkathon on March 26, 2022, at Dubai Creek Park Gate. The Foundation is thrilled to conduct the walk this year with the theme ‘Let’s Beat Arthritis Together’. Open to the public and supported by Dubai Municipality, the free public event aims to remove the stigma associated with the debilitating condition.

For many years, the fight against arthritis was a lonely battle with the patient and their family on one side, fighting to beat a disease that often resulted in physical disabilities. The time has come to fight back even harder with MEAF — #TogetherWeCanBeatArthritis.

The participants of the walkathon will cover 3.5km in a morning walk with friends and family along the Dubai Creek Park (Gate 2) starting at 7 am while bringing awareness to arthritis by sharing valuable information through various communication channels like treatment options and patients’ stories to inspire warriors of the disease to achieve long-lasting relief and a better quality of life.

At the ‘2022 Walk for Arthritis’ Walkathon, specialized doctors will be present to bust the myths of the disease and provide expert knowledge to the patients as well as lend their support. Besides the walk, a variety of family-themed, fun-filled activities are scheduled during the day. Participants will begin and end the walk with Fitness First, whose trainers will guide them through warm-up and cool-down sessions. There also will be fancy-dress competition and groovy dance sessions with Dans Fitness Studio in the rising sun along the creekside to absorb the much-needed natural Vitamin D.

Speaking on the occasion, Consultant Rheumatologist and Founding Member of MEAF, Dr Humeira Badsha said, “More than 350 million people are diagnosed with some form of arthritis globally, 1 in 5 people in the UAE are diagnosed with the disease and are fighting their own battle. After a certain stage in arthritis, people often lose the will to get up from bed, thus, this walkathon aims to reach out to these patients and their families to build awareness on leading a normal life routine and restoring their motivation. Although there’s no particular cure for arthritis, treatments have improved greatly in recent years and for many types of arthritis, there’s a clear benefit of starting a reach out at an early stage. With the right knowledge and guidance, extending a helping hand and an optimistic vision, the pain of arthritis can be quelled.”

“By organizing this walkathon we aim to build a community for patients to support and motivate each other in a positive way along with their loved ones, together to beat arthritis. This walkathon is also beneficial in forming support groups and sharing similar experiences of disease battles, getting first-hand information about treatments and celebrating the little achievements of the journey. We are glad to organize such walkathons and be part of such a noble cause,” added Dr Badsha.

Sanria Khan, an active member of MEAF said: “Building an optimistic pathway and raising awareness on arthritis, an often neglected disease, through this Walkathon empowers patients to be motivated and connect with fellow arthritic warriors and gain a positive attitude to life despite the pain. With the return of this open to public walkathon and the collective voice of the community, we want to create a momentum that arthritis can no longer be ignored, and arthritic warriors need support from all ends.”

Many organizations across the UAE such as Pfizer, Lilly, abbvie, Novartis, Sandoz, Newbridge along with students from various schools and universities are actively supporting the awareness campaign and are coming together for this cause.

About Middle East Arthritis Foundation:

The Middle Emirates Arthritis Foundation (formerly Emirates Arthritis Foundation) is a non-profit organization that strives to breathe life into leading ideas on health, hope and happiness. Its goal is to improve the quality of life for people with arthritis through leadership training, in the prevention, control and cure of the disease. Founded in 2006, the Foundation has grown to support more than 2000 patients today across the UAE. MEAF conducts an extensive range of events and programmes to support arthritis patients. More information about the Foundation and its upcoming events is available at www.arthritis.ae.