http://www.xpress4me.com/news/uae/abudhabi/20004381.html More than 4,500 people, led by Khaldoon Al Mubarak, CEO, Mubadala, took part in a five-kilometre walk along Abu Dhabi’s corniche to mark the region’s first-ever walkathon against diabetes. Walk UAE, held on Friday was part of a nationwide public health awareness campaign, by Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), in association with Emirates Foundation. The walkathon started near the Marina Mall area at 3pm. Hundreds of ‘diabetes-blue’ balloons were released to mark the event. Young Emirati volunteers from Emirates Foundation lined the route to cheer on the thousands of walkers and to give them a hand, if needed. The walk ended with a spectacular UAE traditional dance performance and a prize draw. Khaldoon Al Mubarak was joined by HAAD’s chairman and CEO, Dr. Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Dr. Michael Bitzer, CEO and senior officials of the National Health Insurance Company - Daman, and Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA). Walk UAE is just one of many nationwide activities organised to throw the spotlight on diabetes. Daman, joined hands with ICLDC, to drive the walkathon initiative as the event’s exclusive sponsor. ADTA also put its weight behind the event. Dr. Maha Taysir Barakat, Endocrinologist and Medical & Research Director at Abu Dhabi’s ICLDC sais, “In this first year, since its launch in February 2007, the ‘DIABETES.KNOWLEGE.ACTION.’ campaign has united thousands of UAE nationals and residents in support of the diabetes cause. More than 30,000 people have received consultation as a result of ‘I WONDER’ roaming diabetes screening booth, now at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, supported by HSBC Middle East, and the display of support for this walkathon is outstanding." She said that the World Health Organization reports that approximately 150 million people worldwide have diabetes, and the number is projected to double by the year 2025. The UAE has second highest diabetes prevalence in the world with 19.6 per cent.