UAE launches Hepatitis awareness campaign
Dubai, December 19, 2012
The Emirates Gastroenterology and Hepatology Society (EGHS)-Emirates Medical Association has announced the launch of a two-month Hepatitis C virus awareness campaign in the emirates.
Leading pharma group Roche is the official sponsor for the drive being held as part of its ongoing social commitment and health care innovation.
The development of this campaign follows extensive lobbying by the World Hepatitis Alliance and patient groups around the world, which lead to the World Health Assembly taking action by agreeing on a resolution on viral hepatitis whichwas supported by all 193 member states, including the UAE reflecting the international realization that action to tackle these diseases is now urgently require.
The (EGHS) - Emirates Medical Association on Wednesday unveiled its national awareness campaign with its official partners UAE Red Crescent, Zakat Fund and Patient’s Friends Committee.
The campaign was also joined by 30 students as volunteers from College of Medicine and Health Sciences – UAE University, who will aid the implementation of screening activities throughout the emirates.
The launch included a discussion on the risk factors for people living in the UAE and how the campaign will facilitate the wellness of those potentially affected by the long-term disease.
The campaign is a well-designed program of awareness, education and services provided to the public based on options for care and treatment, accelerating prevention and control of viral hepatitis in the region, taking the UAE one step closer tacklingHepatitis C issues its faced with.
About 3 to 4 million people being infected with the Hepatitis C every year, with approximately 180 million chronically infected, resulting in more than 350,000 people dying annually from Hepatitis C-related liver diseases.
Dr Maryam Alkatry, the EGHS president said, “This national campaign is both a very important and significant step forward for Hepatitis C prevention and management regionally. Raising awareness for the disease is vital as acute infection is so often missed, due to the majority of those infected having no symptoms, thus no reason for concern, initially."
"The awareness drive highlights the importance of screening, disease management, treatment options and the steps that can be taken to increase patient’s adherence to improve their treatment outcomes. We are glad to be in a position to offer this public service to 1000’s of people across the UAE," she added.
The campaign, she said, aims to provide dedicated screening centers to accommodate up to 4000 walk-in visitors thought-out the two month period, which are located at various shopping malls and social clubs in the Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain and Sharjah.-TradeArabia News Service