The second annual Reaching the Last Mile charity run to raise awareness and funds to combat neglected tropical diseases will be held at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Bay Waterfront on Saturday.Organised by the UAE-based Reach Campaign and Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the run is open to participants of all ages and fitness levels, with 1km, 3km, 5km and 10km routes to choose from.
Entry for the run costs Dh57.75 and includes a branded T-shirt and individual medals and photos for each participant, in addition to a winners’ ceremony. The community event is expected to attract a mix of individuals, teams, and families.
All donations from the event will go to benefit the Reach Campaign, a fundraising initiative working to eliminate two neglected tropical diseases (NTDs): river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.
“The campaign will not only encourage people of all ages and abilities across Abu Dhabi to get active, but will also aid in the elimination of two neglected tropical diseases,” said Suhail Al-Arifi, executive director of the events sector, Abu Dhabi Sports Council.
NTDs are a group of communicable diseases that are preventable and treatable, yet continue to affect 1 in 5 people worldwide, including 1 billion children. NTDs cause immeasurable suffering – they blind, debilitate, disfigure and can be fatal. By most commonly affecting vulnerable and marginalised populations, NTDs create cycles of poverty and cost developing nations billions of dollars each year.
“The run is a reminder of our responsibility to support the less fortunate around the world. We are committed to activating local communities in support of worthy causes and to helping further the efforts of Reaching the Last Mile Fund,” Al-Arifi said.
More than 200 million people worldwide require treatment for river blindness while an estimated 850 million people are at risk of lymphatic filariasis.
Nassar Al Mubarak, managing director, the Reach Campaign, noted: “This event reflects both the generosity of the UAE community, and our shared, long-standing commitment to ending neglected tropical diseases. We encourage people to join us, get active, and to support a cause that is contributing to creating a healthier, brighter future for millions of people worldwide.”