Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), recently played host to the 16th annual Al Bawasil International Camp for children with diabetes.

The camp was held from 31 January to 5 February 2016 at Aspire Academy. It brought together more than 60 children between the ages 7 and 11 from 14 different countries, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Egypt. Throughout the week, children participated in a range of fun-filled educational activities, sharing experiences and improving their knowledge of diabetes self-management.

The camp supports QF’s mission to strengthen healthcare provision in the State of Qatar. This includes taking proactive measures to help Qatari’s manage prevalent health problems, as well as providing effective ways to deal with them. QDA’s annual camp also supports QF’s mission to be a catalyst for change by encouraging families to make positive lifestyle changes.

QDA organised the Al Bawasil Camp in partnership with Aspire Academy, with support from ‘Action on Diabetes’, El Jaish Sports Club, and Ooredoo. It was designed to help participants build confidence and boost self-esteem in managing the condition, with the ultimate goal of maintaining a good quality of life and avoiding diabetes-related complications.

Dr Abdulla Al-Hamaq, Executive Director of QDA said:

The objective of the camp is to create a safe and loving environment for children with diabetes. We want to teach them how to control the disease and avoid health issues to enable them to reach their full potential. The camp allows participants to exchange ideas and also share their own unique experiences.’

Ahmed Hatim Khotairat, a participant from Palestine, commented on his experience:

I benefited a lot from the camp; I learned how to choose healthy foods, and the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle. I also really enjoyed workshops like ‘Honouring Parents’, as it encouraged me to love and respect my parents even more. It was great having students from around the region attend the camp, and I am hoping to participate again next year.’

The Al Bawasil Camp is run by a specialised diabetes health team who teach the children how to utilise insulin management techniques and nutrition, as well as maintain their general health. The camp included two ceremonies to celebrate the launch and the conclusion of the event, with the enthusiastic participation of the children themselves and the iconic camp mascots, ‘Basil’ and ‘Sukar’.

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