- Special Pages
By Isabel Ovalle
DOHA: With the incidence of type 1 diabetes increasing annually by 23 percent per 100,000 children here, the Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA) launched the 13th edition of the Al Bawasil camp for kids suffering from diabetes yesterday.
Worldwide the prevalence of type 1 diabetes grows three percent yearly.
The goal of this camp is to create a safe and loving environment for children with diabetes, to teach them how to control the disease and avoid its complications.
Al Bawasil hosts 60 children from Morocco, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, Jamaica, Sudan, Palestine, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Uganda, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.
Dr Abdulla Al Hamaq (pictured), Executive Director of QDA, said that currently there are about 400 children that have type 1 diabetes in Qatar, with ages from six to 12.
The incidence of the disease increases 23 percent yearly for every 100,000 children, according to statistics of International Diabetes Federation, added Dr Al Hamaq, with an annual growth of about 70,000 new cases worldwide.
Noura Al Ibrahim, Camp Manager, said: “We try every year to teach these brave kids how to follow a healthy lifestyle to live safely with their diabetes because it is their right to learn.
“We started with a goal to achieve, and here we are reaching the 13th year, which makes the challenge even bigger, as the camp has grown to be marked on the international map as one of the best camps for children with diabetes,” she added.
The attendees aged 7 to 11 will be staying at Aspire Zone for a week. Given their young ages, said Al Ibrahim, “the first day they cry, but tomorrow they will be alright.”
The workshops are in English and Arabic this year because the camp will host children from Uganda and Jamaica as well.
Participants from Europe and US are due to join next year.
On their first day, the kids attended many workshops, one of them to control diabetes while exercising.
The participants were divided into four teams named after local flowers and each group practised different kinds of sports like yoga, aerobics, taekwondo and others.
They also learned about carbohydrate sources, in order to introduce the food that contains a large amount of carbs and how it inflects on blood sugar levels.
This workshop aims to give the children guidance to choose meal components.
The last workshop was called the forgotten island with the goal to break the ice between the participants and create a proper environment to make friends and encourage team work. Ultimately, attendees were introduced to the camp’s rules and regulations which should be followed until the last day. The Peninsula