Abeer eyes Guinness record in diabetes awareness

IISJ students to create largest human mosaic on World Diabetes Day


Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — Abeer Medical Group, a leading healthcare provider in the region, is attempting to create a Guinness World Record by forming the world’s largest human mosaic with the collaboration of the students of International Indian School Jeddah (IISJ), Dr. Jemshit Ahmed, Abeer›s vice president for strategic planning, told a press conference on Saturday evening.

The mosaic, to be formed on the eve of World Diabetes Day on Tuesday on the school premises, by gathering the largest number of participants in the world will consist the logos of Diabetes Day, Saudi Vision 2030 and Abeer Medical Group alongside a world map. Some 4,500 students of IISJ will line up forming rows and columns for the design, Ahmed said.

The attempt is expected to surpass the current record, which was set in 2015 by Iraq’s community police in Baghdad.

Ahmed said a mass gathering on World Diabetes Day would set another example for Abeer’s commitment toward the community in health awareness. He said it was an attempt to draw public attention to the grievous health hazard of diabetes.

Indian Consul General Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh will be the chief patron and consuls general of other countries will also attend the event, which is supported by 200 volunteers, Ahmed said.

The young generation in Saudi Arabia is vulnerable to the risk of diabetes because a lack of physical activity, according to health experts. The rate of obesity in the Kingdom is alarming, they say.

In addition to a sedentary lifestyle, increased consumption of sugar-rich food products and a lack of awareness about the risk of diabetes are matters of serious concern.

Ahmed expressed concern that the student community is lacking in awareness about the dangerous epidemic of diabetes. He said his group had conducted a survey in Jeddah where 10,000 students of various schools participated. The survey found that the majority of the students had not enough knowledge about the risks of diabetes and obesity.

He said 25 to 30 percent of students in Jeddah were suffering due to obesity and the rate is likely to increase in coming years.

In a sober reminder to all parents, Ahmed said the situation could be effectively reversed in the next generation through dietary changes and increased physical activity. He lamented the addiction to smart devices among children, which leads to less physical activity.

Ahmed described the Kingdom as the leader in the region in terms of diabetics. He said 10 percent of the Saudi population suffer from diabetes and this rate could double in a few decades.

The climate conditions and a luxurious lifestyle are also among the prime factors contributing to the high incidence of diabetes in the Kingdom, he added.

The health expert noted that many expatriates who return home after spending considerable periods in the Kingdom take along with them diabetes and other lifestyle disease due to negligence and a lack of awareness.

Diabetes will lead to visual impairment, kidney failure and adverse impact on several vital organs in the body, he said.

Mohammed Aseef Daudi, chairman of Managing Committee of IISJ, said the IISJ would partner with Abeer in such a noble cause. He assured full support for maintaining a healthy student community in Jeddah.

Jayan K, vice president for projects and business development; Jabir Valiyakath, vice president for finance; and Abdul Rahman, business development manager, also addressed the media.