H.E. Princess Haya Joins 500 Participants to Raise Awareness on Arthritis

WAM Dubai: Feb 21st, 2009 (WAM): Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE Ruler of Dubai joined 500 participants from Emirates Arthritis Foundation’s (EAF) for the second annual walk in solidarity to raise public awareness on the Arthritis.

Princess Haya along with the participants at Dubai Festival City completed the 2.5 km walk. “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 HRH Princess Haya, who is the patron of EAF.

Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), a member of Tatweer, was pleased to support the Emirates Arthritis Foundation’s (EAF) 2nd annual walkathon.

Dr Ayesha Abdullah, Senior Vice President of Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC) and Dr Muhadittha Al Hashimi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Tatweer, were among the participants of the walkathon.

Dr Ayesha Abdullah said: “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. 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. A major sponsor of the Foundation is Mr. Aidroos Hassan from the Middle East Foundations Group. Other sponsors included Dubai Festival City, Atlantis The Palm, Gateway Insurance, Wyeth, LG Electronics, Roche, Abbott, Anlene Milk and Chuckeecheese.

Dr. Cathy Leibman, Director of Operations at EAF, extended personal thanks to all sponsors who made donations on the day, members of the community and students from Dubai Schools who made this event a great success.