UAE Ministry of Health and Sanofi-aventis announce the launch of ‘The 1st UAE National
His Excellency Ali Ahmed Bin Shakar, Undersecretary of the UAE Minister of Health inaugurated the third phase of the ‘Your Health Matters’ campaign during an official ceremony at the Ibn Battuta Mall in Jebel Ali, Dubai on Monday, 21st April. The ceremony also witnessed the launch of the first ‘UAE National Atherothrombosis Day’ and the Atherothrombosis SOS campaign, two major initiatives jointly undertaken by the UAE Ministry of Health and Sanofi-aventis, in association with the Emirates Cardiac Society and Emirates Neurology Society.
The Atherothrombosis SOS program (which stands for ‘Screen.Observe.Survive’ program) will initiate the launch of a series of campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of atherothrombotic risk and its complications. Quarterly meetings and regular symposiums targeting leading UAE physicians will be organized, providing insights into the understanding and early detection of the disease and to discuss the latest treatments available. The program will witness the distribution of dopplers to 50 doctors across the UAE. One-day clinics will also be organized in major public and private hospitals across the UAE where doctors will screen the general public for signs of the disease.
“Atherothrombosis is devastating disease that progresses gradually without the patient’s knowledge. According to statistics from the American Heart Association, Atherothrombotic diseases Claimed 869,724 lives in 2004 (final mortality) (36.3 percent of all deaths or 1 of every 2.8 deaths) in the USA.
Our studies have also revealed that Atherothrombotic diseases CVD continue to be the leading cause of death in the UAE.: acute myocardial infarction represents 28%, cerebrovascular 16.2%, hypertensive disease 13.0%, and 12.3% were due to ischemic heart disease. CVD deaths are reported among males than females across all age,” said H.E. Ali Bin Shakar, Undersecretary of the UAE Minister of Health. “The sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietary habits prevalent, especially among younger generations of nationals and expatriates in the UAE, have caused an increasing incidence of the disease. We are confident that the SOS program will assist in the early detection of this disease, and help us to save many lives in the years to come. “
Caused by thickening of the artery walls, Atherothrombosis is an underlying common cause of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular deaths – conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. Over time, cholesterol and other fatty materials form plaque on the walls of blood vessels. This build-up leads to a hardening of arteries, making it difficult for smooth blood flow. Atherothrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms on the plaque in the wall of a blood vessel, reducing or completely blocking the flow of blood to specific parts of the body. Blood clots formed in arteries leading to the heart or brain, can cause heart attacks or strokes.
The disease, named from a derivative of atheroma, the fatty deposit in the blood vessel, and thrombosis, the formation of a blood clot, most commonly affects the heart, brain and legs. The parts affected by the disease suffer the consequences of an inadequate blood supply, namely poor function, tissue damage or death.
“It is a privilege for us to be launching this initiative with the Ministry of Health,” said Ayman Mokhtar, Marketing Manager, Sanofi-aventis. “We seek to educate the general public, at risk patients and healthcare professionals about the disease and its consequences through this sustained awareness campaign. We are confident that early detection and treatment will allow the condition to be controlled, making a difference to millions of UAE residents.”
Your Health Matters (YHM)
‘Your Health Matters’ is a GCC wide campaign launched to raise awareness of the importance of monitoring health and educating the public about the most effective ways to control cardio-metabolic risks. It was initiated by Sanofi-aventis in April 2007, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, the Health Authority Abu Dhabi, the Gulf Heart Association and the Emirates Cardiac Society. Since its inception, the campaign has generated a tremendous response from the general public and key health authorities alike.
During the course of the past year, Sanofi-aventis has initiated two screening waves in major malls in Abu Dhabi and Dubai where doctors and nurses from 4 Dubai and 1 Abu Dhabi hospitals offered free medical check-ups to the public. Visitors to the stands were screened for high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose, and increased waist circumference.. A special screening wave was conducted in the Dubai Municipality earlier this month. Other activities conducted under the umbrella of ‘Your Health Matters’ include 4 CME sessions with doctors across the UAE and a successful walkathon to mark ‘World Diabetes Day’ on 14th November 2007.
The second year of YHM will witness the launch of the campaign in Kuwait and Qatar. Activities planned for the year are – public screening sessions at regular intervals in major malls in UAE, Kuwait and Qatar; CME sessions for doctors across the three countries; special activities to mark ‘World Heart Day’, ‘World Hypertension Day’ and ‘World Diabetes Day’ and walkathons in all countries to emphasize the importance of active and healthy lifestyles.
Sanofi-aventis is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world-class R&D organization, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases, central nervous system, internal medicine and vaccines. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).