The Reach Campaign announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UAE’s leading health insurer, the National Health Insurance Company – Daman. As a Founding Partner, Daman pledged support over a three-year period, joining Reach’s strategic partner, Emirates Red Crescent, in an effort to eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), namely river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.

The partnership agreement was signed at a special ceremony held at Daman’s HQ by Nassar Abdul Raouf Al Mubarak, Managing Director of The Reach Campaign; Hamad Abdullah Al Mehyas, CEO of the National Health Insurance Company – Daman; and Khalfan Sarhan Al Rumaithi, Director of the Volunteer Department at Emirates Red Crescent Authority.

In addition to the MoU, The Reach Campaign also announced a new initiative that will see its newest partner, Daman, and popular UAE health and fitness platform, STEPPI, join forces to raise money whilst encouraging physical activity with the help of its hundreds of thousands of users in the country. Details of the special challenge will be announced early next year.

Hamad Abdullah Al Mehyas, CEO of the National Health Insurance Company – Daman, said: “We are delighted to be joining The Reach Campaign as a Founding Partner, and this agreement further reinforces our established role when it comes to fostering healthier lifestyle choices and raising awareness of various health issues among the local and global community; in line with our partners’ aims for healthier communities at home and across the world.

He added: “With the success of the Daman Challenge last October, we are excited to be working on another challenge, this time through the popular STEPPI app, to allow as many individuals as possible to participate in the campaign in a way that helps them adopt a more active lifestyle that is in line with the Leadership’s vision for a healthier society.

Nassar Abdul Raouf Al Mubarak, Managing Director of The Reach Campaign, said: “We are very happy to welcome Daman on board as a Founding Partner. Their support across many levels over the next three years will prove invaluable and is a strong fillip in our bid to help eliminate these preventable diseases.

“Our success to date has been founded on partners and communities. The new initiative with Daman and STEPPI is no different. Details of the challenge will be revealed in due time, and we have no doubt it will provide real social impact here in the UAE, while also allowing participants the chance to provide support to people living with NTDs in the world’s most vulnerable communities.”

Commenting on the fund-raising platform launch, Joe Franklin, Co-Founder of STEPPI, said: “This is a wonderful initiative that will also help improve the lives of thousands of people here in the UAE, in addition to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. We are proud to be supporting Reach in their goals.”

The Reach Campaign, a first-of-its-kind fundraising initiative to end two NTDs, river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, was launched February 2020 in the UAE. In partnership with forward-thinking brands and corporations, the campaign takes an innovative approach to raising money to end NTDs, while also educating the public about river blindness and lymphatic filariasis through strategic, targeted advocacy efforts.

Over 200 million people worldwide require treatment for river blindness, one of the leading causes of preventable blindness. Over 850 million people are at risk of lymphatic filariasis, with many in Asia, Africa, the Western Pacific and parts of the Caribbean and South America. Like many NTDs, river blindness and lymphatic filariasis 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.

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