Thousands of workers thronged a labour camp to get checked for diabetes, a chronic health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. As many as 10,000 workers are being tested at a two-day camp held by Aster DM Healthcare to mark World Diabetes day. The camp started at 630 pm on Saturday and will continue until Sunday evening at labour community in Dubai Investment Park 2.

This is the largest diabetes screening camp by the healthcare groups and is the biggest in the UAE. The inauguration of the camp was attended by senior officials from the UAE Ministry of Labour, Dubai Police, Dubai Health Authority, and Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, along with senior officials from Aster DM Healthcare.

It is not all work and no play, though! An entertainment programme was also held for the workers with many singing, dancing, and orchestra performances. “It was a fun-filled day for us along with some knowledge. I did not know about diabetes, but now I learnt a lot about it,” said Batsa Dhungal, a painter residing at the labour camp.

Another worker, Zaeem Farooqui, said that he was a bit nervous about going to the camp as his parents suffer from diabetes. “I was hesitant for the test, but thank god it was negative.” Farooqui, aged 41 years, mentioned that his mother was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 40. “I have to take a lot of precautions so the disease doesn’t affect me and lead a healthy life,” added Farooqui.

Through this initiative, the group aims to screen the labour camps in the DIP area and provide more than 10,000 free screenings within 24 hours. This is also an attempt by the group to set a Guinness World Record.

The healthcare group aims to create awareness on diabetes amongst the blue-collar workers in the UAE, who often tend to ignore their health while pushing through their daily jobs, living away from their families.

A separate area at the same venue has been set up for screenings for females and families.

This is a part of the Group’s continuous efforts to encourage the people of UAE to take care of their health and undertake proactive measures to detect the onset of chronic lifestyle diseases at an early stage.

Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, said: "Diabetes mellitus is rightly called a silent killer. This lifestyle disease catches us silently and slowly kills us without awareness until it is too late. This is the most important cause of early mortality and morbidity through cardiac, renal, and retinal causes, along with many other organ systems.”

“If detected early, it is one of the most easily preventable and treatable conditions. As a community commitment program, Aster will be at the forefront of detecting the silent killer early,” added Dr Moopen.

As a part of the medical camp, in addition to providing free diabetes screening, people were also educated to identify the early symptoms of diabetes and get checked on time. Those detected with the disease were guided on the next steps of medical care and how best to manage and live with diabetes.

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