Posted on November 16, 2015

Action on Diabetes – the leading public-private partnership initiated and funded by Maersk Oil Qatar to tackle diabetes in Qatar – has just celebrated one of its busiest weekends of the year with two hugely successful and well attended events in support of World Diabetes Day.

The first of these lasted for three days from 12 to 14 November, and saw more than 1,000 people tested for diabetes in a specially designed screening zone located at Katara Cultural Village. Between 4 and 9pm each day, visitors to Katara Cultural Village were able to learn about healthy diets and exercise from diabetes educators, in addition to being tested in the custom-built Action on Diabetes screening bus. The Screening Village perfectly reflects Action on Diabetes’ ongoing efforts to educate members of the community and those at risk on the factors that lead to diabetes, and empower people to avoid and manage the condition through early detection as well as equip them with simple steps, tools and know-how to safeguard their health.

Action on Diabetes – initiated and funded by Maersk Oil Qatar – is a public-private partnership with the Supreme Council of Health, Hamad Medical Corporation, Primary Healthcare Corporation, Qatar Diabetes Association and the world leader in Diabetes care Novo Nordisk. The partnership is clear evidence of Maersk Oil Qatar’s commitment to the country for generations to come and to making a meaningful contribution to Qatari society through its social investment partnerships.

Over the past four years, Action on Diabetes has screened 32,000 people for the condition, engaged with thousands of people through awareness campaigns and supported more than 2000 training opportunities through seven different courses to build capacity and support the professional development of doctors, nurses and diabetes educators including training on the latest techniques in diabetes treatment and support. Separately, more than 100 competitors from over 20 corporations and ministries competed over the weekend in the Maersk Oil Qatar Petroleum (MOQP) Challenge – Qatar’s largest corporate team-building event that is designed to raise awareness and funds to tackle diabetes in Qatar.

Now in its fourth year, the MOQP Challenge has raised in excess of 1,000,000 Qatari Riyals to date, providing much needed financial assistance for the Al Bawasil camp for children with diabetes at Aspire. The camp provides support, comfort and assistance for groups of young children in managing the emotional and physical pain caused by diabetes, giving them the best chance possible of leading a healthy and fulfilling life.

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After two days of intense competition, the ‘You Can’t Diabeatus’ team from Maersk Oil were crowned the overall winners of this year’s challenge after securing the highest number of Health Points and beating off stiff competition from teams including the Supreme Council of Health, Schlumbeger, Oxy, Gulf Drilling International, WorleyParsons, Texas A&M, Tripletwo, Gasal, Dolphin Energy, Al Shaheen Weatherford and Philips. This year saw the involvement of twenty teams from sectors as diverse as energy, health, higher education, advertising and professional services.

Participants competed in five gruelling stages that pushed them to the limit including a series of tasks that focused on strategy and decision-making and tested their ability to work as a team, as well as activities that stretched their physical and mental agility. Spread over 48 hours, each of the five inter-related stages was themed around a key lifestyle issue related to diabetes such as healthy eating and avoiding long-term damage to feet and eyes. Teams were required to solve problems, navigate their way around a specially designed course, run, ride mountain bikes and kayaks to succeed.

Coinciding with International Diabetes Day – the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign with events organised in more than 100 countries in 2014 – both activities are the most recent examples of a wide range of initiatives and activities run by Action on Diabetes and supported by Maersk Oil Qatar since 2012.

Through its social investment programme Action for Qatar, the organisation backs a range of initiatives and programmes that are aligned with and support the Qatar National Vision 2030. These include health programmes to address key public health and social welfare challenges such as diabetes, road safety and promoting healthy lifestyles; contributing to education, local skills and capacity creation in support of diversification and a knowledge-based economy; and protecting and promoting Qatar’s natural environment, with a focus on the offshore marine ecosystem.

Commenting on the weekend’s activities, Lewis Affleck, Managing Director of Maersk Oil Qatar commented: “We’re delighted to celebrate another year of progress and a busy weekend of activities that raise awareness of World Diabetes Day and contribute to tackling one of the biggest health challenges facing the country today. At Maersk Oil Qatar, we are ambitious and committed to Qatar for generations to come. This explains our focus on making a meaningful contribution to Qatari society through our social investment partnerships like Action on Diabetes. This programme demonstrates just what can be achieved when you combine the right mix of partners and expertise. We look forward to continued progress in standing up to diabetes together.”

Herluf Nis Thomsen, Action on Diabetes Program Manager said: “We’re thrilled with the impact of this year’s Screening Village at Katara and the great success of the MOQP Challenge. I would like to thank our strategic partners for all their support in making both events happen. Type 2 diabetes is preventable and our aim through activities such as these is to provide as many people as possible with the knowledge and understanding of the importance of eating well, moving more, quitting smoking and getting screened. We’re focused on raising awareness and engaging as many people as possible to benefit the State of Qatar and improve the health of its citizens.”