Dubai Science Park (DSP), the leading science-focused community, hosted the third edition of WeWalk, the annual charitable walkathon, on 19 March, 2022 in partnership with the UAE Rare Disease Society. The community event served to break the silence around rare diseases and create educational programs for different individuals linked to the cause.
The event kicked off bright and early on Saturday morning, welcoming the largest number of participants since its foundation, including all ages and from all walks of life. Dubai Science Park and the UAE Rare Disease Society dedicated part of the raised donations through the initiative's charity partner Beit Al Khair Society to develop support and awareness programs to help shorten the diagnosis journey of patients, create a database of rare diseases and enhance access to specialists, diagnostics and treatments.
The third edition of WeWalk proved to be a lively day out for families and individuals who covered a 3km distance at their own pace, including a wheelchair course to ensure that all could participate comfortably. Energising music and family-friendly activities enlivened the atmosphere, and the event also provided an opportunity for individuals to donate blood through a mobile Dubai Health Authority's Blood Donation Center (DBDC).
Reflecting on the successful community event, Muna Almuhairbi, Head of CSR at Dubai Holding Asset Management, said, “The outstanding turnout at this year’s WeWalk shows us how keen the residents of Dubai are to build an inclusive and happy society for all who live, visit and work in our emirate. Rare diseases are prevalent in our region yet under-recognised in social spheres, which is why we were eager to pair up with the UAE Rare Diseases Society and shed light on the plight of more than 2.8 million people in the Middle East. I would like to thank our partners who helped make this year an incredible success and to our many participants whose contributions will help set in motion valuable research, treatments and support for patients living with rare diseases. We cannot wait to have everyone back again next year for another noble cause!”
Events like WeWalk are instrumental in addressing the stigma around rare diseases and enhancing the infrastructure for diagnosis and treatment of related conditions. Dubai Science Park’s partnership with UAE Rare Disease Society encourages the business community as well as the wider emirate to gain a broader understanding of the triumphs and challenges people face to help inspire genuine inclusivity and support.
Dubai Science Park is home to leading local and international institutions including the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, Pfizer, Medtronic, Olympus, Mettler Toledo and Bayer. The district regularly engages and connects its community with flagship events such as WeWalk and Advanced Health to highlight pertinent subjects for science-focused sectors, share insights and facilitate networking.