Princess Haya backs arthritis awareness drive
Dubai , February 22, 2009
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai yesterday (February 21) joined a 500-strong walkathon aimed at raising public awareness on arthritis.
Dressed in a T-shirt and a cap with the foundation’s logo, Princess Haya joined 500 participants in the Emirates Arthritis Foundation’s (EAF) second annual walkathon
at Dubai Festival City and completed the 2.5 km walkathon.
“Arthritis is not an age defined disease. When young people with arthritis do not get the right treatment at the right time they can become disabled. It is essential to raise awareness of this disease to prevent damage and disability”, said Princess Haya, who is the patron of EAF.
Dr Ayesha Abdullah, senior vice president of Dubai Healthcare City, a supporter of the walkathon and Dr Muhadittha Al Hashimi, deputy chief executive officer of Tatweer, were among the participants of the walkathon.
“Raising awareness of Arthritis is the main aim of the walkathon and it is crucial that people realize the impact on people affected by the condition, which includes young people,” said Dr Abdullah. “As a centre for healthcare excellence, DHCC is playing a role in both the prevention, through public awareness activities, and treatment of the disease.
“Through the Dubai Bone and Joints Centre (DBAJ), we have treated some of the people participating in the walkathon. DBAJ plays an important role as the only extensive medical facility for orthopedic disorders in the Middle East – and its former patients here today are a testament to the good work it is doing to improve.”
Other participants in the walkathon included a 32-year old nurse, Jancy, with arthritis. Jancy was unable to take a few steps at the first walkathon a year ago. Since then, the EAF have raised money for her to receive intravenous treatments for her rheumatoid arthritis and also to have both her knees replaced.
Jancy completed the 2.5 km walk with her family today, remarking “I cannot thank EAF enough for putting me back on my feet.”
The money raised through the walkathon will go towards the endowment fund, meant to treat arthritis patients in need of expensive medications.
Sponsors of the foundation included Aidroos Hassan from the Middle East Foundations Group, Dubai Festival City, Atlantis The Palm, Gateway Insurance, Wyeth, LG Electronics, Roche, Abbott, Anlene Milk and Chuckeecheese. – TradeArabia News Service