February 28, 2014

Rare Disease Day

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Hamdan Medical Award raises awareness on rare diseases for students of 13 secondary schools in UAE

Within its one-week awareness campaign on rare diseases, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences organized a series of educational lectures over two days for male and female students of 13 secondary schools in Sharjah, Ras Al-Khaimah, and Al-Ain.

The lectures were organized with the participation of a number of Emirati specialists including Dr. Fatima Bastaki, Consultant Pediatrician and Clinical Geneticist, Latifa Hospital, Dr. Fatima Al-Jasmi, Associate Professor, Metabolic Consultant at Tawam Hospital, and Dr. Noha Al-Zaabi, Pediatrician.

On this occasion, Abdullah bin Souqat, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hamdan Medical Award, expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to the officials in the UAE Ministry of Education for their cooperation with the award in organizing these lectures, which have reached to the largest possible number of students in this age.

“Raising awareness on the reasons, preventive measures, and early detection is one of the most important way to prepare the future mothers and fathers to participate in facing rare diseases which pose a heavy burden on individuals, families and societies, especially families with children with mental or physical disabilities”, he said.

For her part, Dr. Fatima Bastaki, Consultant Pediatrician and Clinical Geneticist, Latifa Hospital, expressed her pleasure to participate in delivering these lectures that have contributed in boosting the establishment of fruitful dialogue between the specialists and the students.

“While 80% of the rare diseases have genetic background, the remaining percentage of them happens as a result of infection, or allergies, or might be due to environmental reasons”, she said.

“Now, the students are aware of the importance of the pre-marriage examinations, especially in consanguinity, as well as geneticists’ role in identifying the patterns of inheritance of genetic diseases in the same family’s members”, she added.

It is worth mentioning that the schools participated in the awareness campaign from the Emirate of Sharjah are Waset Model School for Higher Education (Girls), Roqayya Secondary School for Girls, Alorouba Secondary School for Boys, and Muath Bin Jabal Secondary School for Boys.

From the emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah, the participated schools are Al-Dhait Secondary School for Girls, Tunb Boys’ Secondary School, and Al-Jawdah Secondary School for Boys. In the city of Al-Ain, Al Jahiely Secondary School for Girls hosted an awareness lecture on rare diseases with the participation of female students from 3 secondary schools namely; Al-Resalah Al Moshtaraka School, Mariam bint Sulatan School, and Al Talieaa School. Also, a lecture was presented to male students from the Khalifa bin Zayed School and Khaled bin Al Waleed School.