The Reach Campaign, in collaboration with Daman and STEPPI, has unveiled the details of a new initiative set to launch on the 1st of February 2022. Running through the platform of the popular fitness app, STEPPI, the initiative aims to raise funds whilst encouraging physical activity with the help of its hundreds of thousands of users in the country.
The launch of the initiative coincides with the third annual World NTD Day, today (30 January). World NTD Day is a global movement that aims to galvanize the global health community and engage the public in the urgent effort to end NTDs.
Based on Daman’s goals of effecting positive social change and a switch to a healthier lifestyle, the company has pledged to donate AED500,000 when STEPPI’s UAE users surpass a total of 250 million steps. This donation will be allocated to The Reach Campaign which is an awareness and fundraising initiative that aims to end two neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) – river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.
This interactive fundraising initiative is in line with the goals of the recently signed MoU between Reach, Daman, and Emirates Red Crescent, and in accordance with Daman’s pledge to leverage its own networks to raise awareness of The Reach Campaign that aims to free the next generation from two preventable NTDs.
This means that Daman will make an AED2 donation to Reach for every 1,000 steps completed by STEPPI users. By following the recommended daily recommended average of 10,000 steps a day to improve one’s health and wellbeing, users can impact up to 10 lives in one day.
Over 200 million people worldwide require treatment for river blindness, one of the leading causes of preventable blindness. Like many NTDs, river blindness and lymphatic filariaisis disproportionately affect the world’s poorest people, trapping their families in cycles of poverty as when adults suffer from river blindness, children are taken out of school to support their care.
All proceeds will benefit the Reaching the Last Mile Fund (RLMF), which offers a proof of concept for the elimination of the two diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa. RLMF is a 10-year, $100 million USD initiative launched in 2017 by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, with support from several organisations including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The ELMA Philanthropies. Hosted by the END Fund – the leading philanthropic vehicle dedicated to ending NTDs – RLMF works to end the two NTDs in seven countries: Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Yemen.
Hamad Abdullah Al Mehyas, CEO of the National Health Insurance Company – Daman, said: “We are fortunate to be launching a challenge that allows the nation’s community to take more steps towards a healthy lifestyle while transforming the lives of others. By stepping up to this challenge, we have the power to raise awareness of two neglected tropical diseases that we are helping to end. As a Founding Partner of the Reach Campaign, we are proud to be supporting the UAE leadership’s vision for creating a healthy society here in the UAE and driving disease elimination abroad.
“This active initiative with Reach follows in the footsteps of the successful Daman Challenge, and supports our goal of driving positive social change. Together, we can raise awareness, encourage physical activity through the STEPPI challenge, and transform lives forever.”
Nassar Abdul Raouf Al Mubarak, Managing Director of The Reach Campaign, said: “The launch of this initiative through the STEPPI platform allows users across the UAE to literally take steps to transform lives.
“We express our gratitude to Daman and STEPPI for launching this innovative activation, and hope this inspires more collaborations to help us accelerate progress towards elimination. By working hand-in-hand with our partners we have expanded our portfolio of programmes through which we connect people across the UAE to fulfill our shared ambition of supporting some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
“We have seen an incredible response from the UAE community to our initiatives, which demonstrates the public’s readiness to work together in the spirit of the UAE’s late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who valued giving all people the chance to live a healthy and dignified life.”
Commenting on the launch of the 25-day initiative, Joe Franklin, Co-Founder of STEPPI, said: “We are thrilled to be supporting Daman and The Reach Campaign on this incredible initiative. Encouraging and incentivising users to be more active has been at the core of our community projects, I can’t think of a better incentive than improving lives of individuals at risk of NTDs. We look forward to seeing STEPPI users taking steps to transform lives and in turn improving physical activity amongst UAE residents.
The UAE’s strategy for disease elimination is to help keep preventable diseases at the top of the political agenda, maintain progress made so far, raise funding levels, and work closely with global partners and multilateral initiatives to increase impact.
Just AED2 can provide the medicine and treatment to protect one person from river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, and several other co-endemic diseases for the entire year.
Members of the public are invited to participate by downloading the STEPPI app on [https://app.steppi.com/share-app-page].