Posted on December 28, 2019

The recently concluded International Al Bawasil Diabetes camp saw 50 children with diabetes from across the MENA region receive instructions on how to better cope with their conditions. The 20th edition of the camp organized by Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), drew children aged between seven and eleven from 12 diabetes associations from Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Sudan, Algeria, Libya, Iran, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, and South Africa.

Participants took part in an intensive six-day diabetes-training program that helped foster independence, build self-confidence and gain awareness of a healthy lifestyle through education, nutrition, exercise, emotional well-being, and glucose control.

Commenting at the closing ceremony, Dr. Abdulla Al-Hamaq, Executive Director, QDA, said: “I am glad that our children received the caring support of our professional medical and nutritional staff and volunteers. They met with campers at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime. Moreover, they were always available during camp for daily additional support including blood glucose testing in the middle of the night and escorting them to all trips. “I witnessed our children working closely with our teams on counting carbohydrates, testing blood glucose, administering insulin, and insulin pump support. They also worked together in treating low and high blood glucose readings.”

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The children engaged in fun learning activities during their trips to many places in Qatar including Kidzania Doha where they became firefighters, doctors, chefs and artists, and performed real-life tasks. They also visited the Museum of Islamic Art, Souq Waqif and Katara Beach. 

Commenting on the support Qatar Airways offered to the 20th International Bawasil Camp, Salam Al Shawa, Senior Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications, Qatar Airways, said: “We are delighted to support the 20th International Bawasil Camp, which has become one of the largest and most important diabetes awareness-raising activities in the region. As an airline, we care about the communities in which we work, and Al Bawasil Camp offers a healthy environment for children from across the region and beyond to learn how to control and live with diabetes."

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The participants from abroad praised the camp and QDA for being given the opportunity to benefit from real-life experiences on learning to manage diabetes. They added that the knowledge they acquired has made them feel more confident and self-reliant about being able to lead normal lives with diabetes. “We’re proud to support the Al Bawasil Camp for the second year in a row,” Khames Mohamed Al Naimi, Chief Human Resources Officer, Vodafone Qatar, said. “Children’s well-being is of utmost importance to Vodafone that’s reflected in our support and delivery of several initiatives including our award-winning digital safety programme AmanTech.”

The first Al Bawasil Diabetes Camp was held in January 1999, and has been held every year since. It has become one of the most important diabetes camps in the MENA region.