19. Dec 2013

314,000 joined the Global Diabetes Walk

314,000 joined the Global Diabetes Walk

Gwendolyn Carleton
The 2013 Global Diabetes Walk marked the World Diabetes Day with Walks, drums and banners worldwide. Under the slogan “Together for Diabetes” more than 300,000 people took to the streets to create awareness about the rising burden of diabetes.
Photos compiled from all 2013 Walks are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/globaldiabeteswalk

Prior to the World Diabetes Day, the International Diabetes Federation had published the 6th Diabetes Atlas giving the latest estimates for diabetes worldwide. These numbers reveal a stunning increase in diabetes in countries with the least capacity to confront the burden. In line with the poverty focus of WDF this year’s campaign particularly targeted WDF’s project partners in developing countries to encourage them to create local awareness.

See photos from the Global Diabetes Walks 2013

Increased awareness where it is most needed
“We are very happy to see that 88 WDF project partners have registered and organised Walks in connection with World Diabetes Day this year,” says Managing Director Anders Dejgaard. “Particularly African project partners have joined this year and this aptly reflects the need for awareness on the continent which faces a 90% increase of diabetes over the next 20 years.[1]

In total, 145 organisations and individuals registered 646 single diabetes Walks. The registrations spread nicely throughout all regions which bears witness to a worldwide engagement in creating awareness about diabetes.

Walks in Africa (50,900 participants in 13 countries. 82 Walks)
With a total of 82 Walks this year, a wave of diabetes awareness was sent across from Ministries to rural villages in 13 African countries (Burkina Faso, Congo (Kinshasa), Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda). 22 WDF project partners registered under the Global Diabetes Walk campaign. The biggest Walks took place in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with 10,000 participants per walk.    

Walks in Europe (8,800 participants in 10 countries. 36 Walks)
WDF project partners in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Turkey and Uzbekistan organised walks. Among these was the Diabetes Week throughout Kosovo as described here. Furthermore, walks were organised in Denmark, Slovakia and Sweden. WDF organised the hitherto biggest Run/Walk for more than 100 participants.

Walks in the Middle East & North Africa Region (13,700 participants in 7 countries. 18 Walks)
WDF project partners in Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territory, Sudan and Yemen actively participated in the Walk. This was topped by walks in Afghanistan and Qatar.
In Jordan, UNRWA organised a Walk for 150 participants and was joined by comedy stars, Mr Hasan Sabaileh (Zaal) and Mrs Rania (Khadra) who presented a scene on healthy lifestyle. Qatar Diabetes Association organised yet another professional Beat Diabetes campaign in collaboration with the Landmark Group for some 5,000 participants. 

Walks in North America & Caribbean (13,900 participants in 4 countries. 51 Walks)
WDF project partners in Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico organised Walks. Activities in Mexico came to an all-time high with 13,100 participants spread over 27 walks. The biggest single event took place already in September when the Mexican Diabetes Federation organised the 21st Caminata Nacional del Paciente Diabético in Mexico City. Again this year, American First nations from the Quinault Diabetes, Wellness & Prevention Program in Taholah, Washington State joined the walk.

Walks in South & Central America (27,400 participants in 9 countries. 28 Walks)
WDF project partners in Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Peru organised Walks. Among these was last year’s GDW award winner in Bolivia who organised a run in Cochabamba for 2,500 participants. Walks in Brazil accounted for almost 17,000 participants.

Walks in South East Asia (175,500 participants in 5 countries. 393 Walks)
As per tradition numerous Walks were organised throughout India receiving broad media coverage and participation from high level politicians. In the same region, Walks were organised in Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – the latter with more than 100 walks counting 100,000 participants. The 2011 winner of the GDW award, Diabetes Society of the Maldives had taken another creative step to set up a mind-blowing campaign. Under the slogan Maldives Dive for Diabetes they created a blue circle in the turquoise waters off the Embudgu Lagoon.     

Walks in the Western Pacific region (27,000 participants in 13 countries. 40 Walks)
WDF project partners in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Thailand and Vietnam organised walks. Again this year, Columbia Asia Hospitals created a beautiful Walk in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for 3,000 participants. The 2012 GDW award winner in the Philippines defied the typhoon which hit the country a few days prior to WDD and conducted their event as planned and described hereIn populous China, an online campaign reached 200,000 people to create awareness about diabetes. See stories about Walks in past years in Malaysia and China

Revisit all the walkable moments
It is impossible to mention and give individual credit to all those who did an amazing job in raising awareness about diabetes this year. We have compiled all photos at Flickr and also encourage you to visit the campaign facebook page which has links to find more information about the different Walks.

Walk by numbers
•     A total of 314,000 people walked as part of the Global Diabetes Walk.
•     145 organisations registered activities. In total, 646 Walks were registered.
•     Walks took place in 61 countries reaching from Ivory Coast to Solomon Islands.
•     The biggest registered Walk took place in Sri Lanka with 100,000 participants. 

The original version of this story mistakenly counted the 200,000 participants in the Chinese awareness campaign as Walk participants (in fact, this is the number of clicks that this impressive campaign received). The total number of organisations and Walks has also been reduced slightly, to reflect several duplicates in the data.

[1] From 408 million in 2013 to 776 million in 2035. IDF Diabetes Atlas 6th edition.