24 December, 2004

On 14 November, World Diabetes Day, around 29 people from the British Antarctic Survey and the South Georgia Government joined thousands of people across the globe in walking to raise awareness of diabetes. It was the first time that an event of this scale had been attempted and it was hoped that the Global Diabetes Walk would set a new world record for the greatest number of people simultaneously participating in a walk. So far, 37,000 people from 38 countries across seven continents have taken part but the organisers are still counting as results flood in from around the world.

At least one member from each BAS station was able to participate. The organisers wrote on their web page;

What makes the Global Diabetes Walk special is the sense of partnership that reaches across borders, time zones, cultures and organisations. Ordinary people helping themselves and others – on a global scale.

In temperatures colder than your freezer at home, 29 scientists, researchers and support personnel were out walking on the snow and ice of Antarctica. These people only have limited contact with the rest of the world – during winter, travel is often impossible and phone/e-mail are only available when a satellite passes overhead. Some of them haven’t seen anyone outside their station since February!

We hope that the Global Diabetes Walk gave them the feeling that they were not alone – a message that we would like to send to everyone with diabetes around the world. Many thanks to the British Antarctic Survey for taking part and for the wonderful pictures .”

World Diabetes Day (WDD) is organised by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and aims to raise awareness of diabetes around the world.