Severe shortage of A and O blood groups in Dubai

January 16, 2011


Al Wasl Hospital Blood Bank in Dubai is facing shortage and urgently require type A and O donors (both positive and negative). It is needed for kids suffering from thalassemia and cancer, as well as serious of traffic accidents victims.

When contacted, a staff member at the Blood Bank said that they have sent text messages to regular donors requesting them to come forward to donate blood.

“Blood Bank urgently requires type A and O. But all other blood types are also needed. We need large amount of blood to carry out blood transfusion for thalassemia patients. We have more than 40 thalassemia patients who need transfusion every three weeks.

“We supply blood to hospitals, and in case of accidents we must be prepared and have sufficient amount of blood to give to patients. This is a very serious issue and the lives of many depends on the availability of blood.”

The Blood Bank is open till 6pm every day to receive blood from donors. For further information, please call Al Wasl Hospital on 04 3241111.

However, Al Wasl as asked people not to call as that line may be busy but to come straight to the hospital and donate the blood.


New centres for blood donation in 2011

December 31, 2010

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The Dubai Health Authority in collaboration with hospitals and health centres has announced the opening of new blood donation centres from early next year.

According to Dr Laila Al Shaer, Director, Dubai Centre, a number of new sites in each of the hospitals will be announced during the coming year.

In addition to this, a number of health centres will be launched, all with the latest equipment, resources and specialised staff needed to receive blood donors.

Dr Shaer said the move comes in response to the growing demand for blood and blood products.

Statistics show the annual number of blood units that have been made available during this year amounted to 28,430, including 12,864 units for Thalassemia Centre, and 14,103 units for hospitals (Rashid Hospital — 7,569 units, Dubai Hospital — 4,147 units and Al Wasl Hospital — 2,387 units). A total of 1,463 units of blood were provided to private hospitals.

The Director of the Dubai Centre for blood donation commended that the existence of such centres will allow community members the opportunity to participate in saving the lives of others and alleviating the suffering of patients while remaining involved in the provision of blood.

Dr Shaer said contribution to this project is to increase the inventory status of the blood by up to 20 per cent.

The role of the new centres will be complementary to blood donation campaigns being organised by the centre on a daily basis.

S.S. Lootah blood donors reach new milestone

October 1, 2010


The number of registered regular blood donors at S.S. Lootah Group, the Dubai based business conglomerate, has reached 170 yesterday. The new record number has been achieved during the bi-annual Blood Donation Drive, organized in association with Dubai Health Authority, to support Thalassemia patients and alleviate potential shortfalls in the emirate’s blood bank.

“S.S. Lootah started the blood donation drive in 2004, as a CSR initiative with a few volunteers. Today, we are able to maintain a healthy pool of blood donors with 170 regular donors, among them 9 have rare blood types. We are glad that our employees have taken our message to heart and become regular, committed donors,” said Naema Al Hamrani, Corporate Communications Manager.

Talking about the common misconception in donating blood, Kalthoom Mohammed Al Tahri, Community Programs Coordinator at S.S. Lootah Group, said, “Many of our employees were afraid to donate blood for reasons varying from worry about pain to fear of catching a disease. Our persistent efforts on awareness and promotion have helped in removing their apprehension while evolving a change in attitude and culture.”

Having a rare blood type, Amira El Haj never realized the importance of donating blood until she took part in the Lootah campaign six years ago. Amira says that she is now emotionally attached to this initiative and looks forward to an opportunity to donate blood whenever possible. Increased employee participation with about 31,500 ml. of blood collected this year is testimony to the fact that the Blood Donation Drive has succeeded in making a difference.

S.S. Lootah Group’s community programs have earned respect and recognition worldwide. The programs’ focus is on empowering leadership among Emirati students, SME entrepreneurs support, community awareness, relief, education, sustainability among others.

Rouse Organises Blood Donation Drive At Twin Towers

September 13, 2010


Dubai Investment Properties, one of the leading real estate developers in the UAE, today announced that Rouse, a leading intellectual property (IP) consultancy, is holding a blood donation drive on September 14, 2010 from 9 am to 3 pm at the Twin Towers in Deira. The third annual blood donation drive, which is a part of the company’s global CSR programme ‘Rouse Cares’, will be held in association with the Dubai Health Authority to support patients suffering from thalassemia and other life-threatening ailments.

“Patients suffering from thalassaemia, cancer, accidents and other life threatening conditions need blood to save their lives. This ever-increasing demand of blood can only be met through voluntary blood donations,” says Mr. Jon Parker, Partner, Rouse. “Through our Rouse Cares programme, we aim to help improve the lives of others through sustainable initiatives and by growing roots in each country where we work. We are happy to organise our annual blood donation drive in association with the Dubai Health Authority where our staff, partners and clients can make a contribution to meet the continued need for blood at hospitals.”

The third annual blood donation drive will be held on the third floor of the Twin Towers. Employees, partners and guests are expected to voluntarily come forward to donate in large numbers. Rouse expects the donations to surpass last year’s number of 100 units. The DHA authorities will provide full medical equipment, information and support at the blood donation campaign.

“We commend Rouse for organising the blood donation campaign during the Eid period and are happy to whole-heartedly support it. Twin Towers will offer them all the facilities and services required to make this blood donation a mega success. We are sure DIP’s staff and other tenants at Twin Towers will also come out in full force to support Rouse’s blood donation campaign,” says Mr. Deepak Chawla, Operations Manager at DIP.

Globally, Rouse supports initiatives to help improve the lives of the local community through its ‘Rouse Cares’ programmer. The support ranges from providing legal support on a pro bono basis, supporting charitable institutions and working directly with community organisations.

Modhesh Friends Forum participants visit Dubai Thalassemia Center

July 30, 2010


Children participating in Modhesh Friends Forum, organised by Dubai eGovernment as part of Dubai Summer Surprises 2010 being held from June 17 to August 7, were recently taken on a visit to the Dubai Thalassemia Center in Al Wasl Hospital. The children were accompanied by representatives from Dubai eGovernment, supervisors of Modhesh Friends Forum, in addition to several specialist doctors and staff from the Thalassemia Center, who together were focused on bringing a smile to the faces of thalassemia-afflicted children. Modhesh, the ever smiling character was also present to cheer up the children.

The visit to the center underlines Dubai eGovernment’s strong commitment to corporate social responsibility efforts, which benefit all community segments, including children diagnosed with thalassemia. Dubai Thalassemia Center is the UAE’s first specialized center to provide support and care to thalassemia-afflicted people.

The visit by Modhesh Friends Forum participants featured an informative presentation about Thalassemia, its stages of development, diagnosis, and the medical services offered by the center. It also featured an entertaining performance by Modhesh, followed by the distribution of special gifts to the children at the center.

Arjaan by Rotana-Dubai AED107,320 Raised for Thalassemia Charity Event Join us in adding Joy to their hearts

June 4, 2010


-AED107,320.00, the net amount to be contributed to fulfil the wish of the 10 Thalassemic children to enjoy a once in a lifetime cruise around the UAE, was the reason behind the cocktail reception that was held at Arjaan by Rotana-Dubai. The amount was collected from Join us in adding Joy to their hearts, the family fun day which was organized by Arjaan by Rotana in conjunction with UAE Red Crescent and Thalassemic Centre.

We are proud with the result and making the 10 childrens wishes come true hoping our name will be engraved in those childrens lives and hearts said Mark Deere, the General Manager of Arjaan by Rotana-Dubai.

We would like to thank again the events sponsors and each individual that supported us in achieving this amount and making wishes come true he added.

The success of Join us in adding Joy to their hearts was the first step for the parents to show their children the wonderful feeling of giving and being the cause of someone elses smile.
I would like to congratulate Arjaan by Rotana team for the success of Join us in adding Joy to their hearts thanking all who supported this event and was a reason for making these children wishes come true said Mr. Mohammad Abdullah Al Haj Al Zarouni, the general manager of UAE Red Crescent – Dubai branch.

Special thanks to all the sponsors who extended all the efforts they could to make Join us in adding joy to their hearts a successful event including KIDZANIA, Hamleys, Chuck E-Cheese, Outlet Mall, The Big Bus Tour, Virgin Mega store, BSB Advertising group, Stallion Printing Press, Sweet Factory, PEPSI, Baskin Robins, Red Bull, Evian and all who supported this event.

ADMAF supports Marriage Fund’s Thalassemia Health Awareness Campaign

May 15, 2010

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Within the framework of its commitment to the highest standards of social responsibility, the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), announced today its support for the Marriage Fund in launching a health awareness campaign for Thalassemia.

Entitled “The Choice is Yours, for a UAE without Thalassemia”, the nation-wide campaign aims to educate the public about the disease and its prevention mechanisms. The campaign is also supported by the UAE Genetic Diseases Association.

Launched during a press conference held today at Emirates Palace, the campaign will feature informational leaflets and brochures distributed in educational and health institutions as well as offices all across the United Arab Emirates, in addition to advertisements and a media outreach element. As part of the campaign, the Marriage Fund with the support of ADMAF has also produced a film to provide information about the disease, its consequences and the steps that can be taken to prevent it.

The organisers and all supporting parties hope the campaign will help spread knowledge about the disease and contribute to the fight against Thalassemia in the wider UAE community.

H.E Hoda Al-Khamis Kanoo, ADMAF Founder, commented: “Our partnership with the Marriage Fund is rooted in ADMAF’s determination to reach out to the community. Our year-round community initiatives and the strong community program we implement has allowed us to enhance access to the arts for different groups of people from across the seven Emirates and touch the lives of disadvantaged groups through art.

It gives us great pleasure to support one of our valuable partners in its efforts to fight against a grave health risk in our society and requires great attention from us. Our involvement in this project reflects our commitment to continue expanding our collaboration with the UAE civil society.”

A committee for the first health campaign will be formed to carry out the instructions of H.E. Dr. Maitha Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State and chairperson of the board of directors of the Marriage Fund. The committee will coordinate with all parties and ensure the completion of work according to agreed schedules and plans.

Thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder, is a serious public health issue in the UAE. According to some estimates, one in twelve people in the UAE are Thalassemia carriers. The disease, which often manifests itself in the form of anaemia due to low levels of red blood cells and haemoglobin, can be prevented through simple premarital tests.

The cooperation between the Marriage Fund and the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation started with the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010. In the lead up to the Festival and as part of its rich community program, ADMAF partnered with a vast network of civil society organisations, including the Marriage Fund, as a reflection of its commitment to embed the arts in the heart of the Emirates.

As title supporter of this campaign, ADMAF reaffirms its commitment to supporting its local community and to use the arts to communicate a powerful message to the society. The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation has since its launch been a strong advocate and supporter of many social and arts initiatives supporting the local community as well as the international arts community.

Emirates Central Cooling Corporation organises blood donation campaign

March 31, 2010

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Emirates Central Cooling Corporation (Empower), the largest district cooling service provider in the region, held its fourth blood donation campaign in aid of children suffering from thalassaemia and other blood conditions recently under the aegis of Dubai Blood Donation Centre of Dubai Health Authority.

A significant number of volunteers donated blood as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility. The donated blood will go towards helping “Thalassemia” patients as well as others in need of blood.

Some 154 persons donated blood during the event. Students from high schools put up an entertainment program for the donors. All the donors, sponsors and volunteers were recognised with certificates of appreciation, gifts and prizes.

Ahmed Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower said: “The primary aim of establishing Empower was preserving the environment and to give our children a better life with natural resources.

This campaign will help meet the continuous need for blood supplies in Dubai. Empower is keen to continue such initiatives which reflect its firm commitment to society.”

Blood donations plat a crucial role in saving the lives of many, particularly children suffering from thalassaemia, who normally need repeated blood transfusions, in addition to many others who are being treated for other serious diseases.

The response was unprecedented and donors have already signed for Empower’s next Blood Donation Campaign expected to be held in/around August 2010.

The campaign was held with the help of sponsors, including Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development, Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), Transgulf Electro Mechanical, Mario Associates, Gea Ecoflex, Technical & Trading Establishment, Union National Bank, Al Zarooni Electo Mechanical, Mezbaan Hyderabad Restaurant, Jeema Mineral Water (PSC) and AECOM Ellerbe Becket.

Blood transfusion is a vital aspect to combating “Thalassemia”, a genetic blood disorder that affects a person’s ability to produce haemoglobin, resulting in severe anemia.

Bin Shafar added: “Empower has always been at the forefront of organising such community focused campaigns.

We thank all the Empower employees and members of the public, who came forward to assist Thalassemia patients.”

3rd Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference opened

March 15, 2010

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DUBAI – Under the patronage of H.H. Shaikh ‘Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’ Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and President of Dubai Health Authority, H.E. Dr. ‘Hanif Hassan’, UAE Minister of Health, Chairman-Board of Directors at Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Award for Medical Sciences, inaugurated in today the ‘3rd Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference’, that is organized by the ‘Center for Arab Genomic Studies’, a division of ‘Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences’, in Dubai.

The two-day conference will discuss the latest genome research activities in the Arab Region with the participation of specialists and consultants who will present 150 research papers from 36 Arab and foreign countries. The conference is attended by a large number of doctors, decision makers, and doctors under training, academics and students of medical colleges, nurses, and laboratory technicians.

The Minister said the Award had laid down proper scientific and practical plans to advance medical and genetic scieinces not only in the UAE but also across the Arab World.

He said Shaikh hamdan, patron of the Award, established the Centre in 2003 to develop reserach on human genetics and boost relations of cooperation between getic researchers in the region and the world.

In the Arab World, genetic diseases represent a major public health problem. Several factors contribute to the wide prevalence of genetic disorders in the region including the high rate of consanguinity, social trend to have more children until menopause, selective factors favoring inherited disease characters like thalassemia and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, and the lack of public awareness towards the early recognition and prevention of inherited disease.

The vision of H.H. Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to alleviate human suffering from genetic diseases in the Arab World crystallized in the establishment of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) to characterize and prevent genetic disorders and transfigure the future practice of health care in the region.

Some of the priority objectives of the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies are to educate the public and professionals alike on the important impact of genetic diseases in the Arab World and the methods and benefits of early genetic diagnosis. The Centre for Arab Genomic Studies also plans to provide comprehensive genetic services by translating research achievements into well-integrated patient treatment programs. Concurrently, it will also address the ethical, legal, and social issues that may arise with the implementation of such programs.

This year’s conference is highly supported by the World Health Organization ‘WHO’ through the participation of the Regional Advisor for Research Policy at the WHO Regional Office for the Middle East in Cairo, Egypt. In addition, this year’s research papers are characterized by their high quality materials that reflect the status of scientific development of Arab scientists in this field.

Dr. Mohammad Afzal Research Policy and Cooperation, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, World Health Organization, Cairo, Egypt, spoke about Governance Challenges of Genomic Applications in Healthcare Systems.

He said ‘Exponentially growing human genomics research and its commercial involvement in the present century has created a significant number of policy challenges, such as patenting, genetic testing and genetic information. The transition of governing via risk to governance by uncertainty is another challenge to contemporary genomics governance. These new topics of genomics governance have not been taken up seriously in the already operating or emerging institutional structures of policy making in the counties of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Besides, he added there exists a gap between policy challenges and institutional responses and even with meager genomic research in the Region that might lead to growing social opposition against genomics. The healthcare systems, therefore, must have institutional basis to determine the clinical parameters and real potential of genetic testing application in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, and priority setting mechanism for scientific and social policy research. In the meantime, research ethics committees and advocates should develop ethical frameworks to encourage innovation, while protecting research participants and patients from potential harm.

Official calls for premarital medical test

March 4, 2010

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It called for the criminalization of marriages in which premarital medical checks are not carried out and the Ministry of Justice’s endorsement is not obtained.

The Health Affairs Department made the statement after discovering a number of potential couples carry genetic or communicable diseases, Al-Madinah newspaper reported.

“Health officials discovered that 1,801 persons were unfit for marriage out of a total of 92,149 people who underwent medical checkups over the past five years,” said Saeed Al-Zahrani, spokesman for the Health Affairs Department in Taif.

Of those tested, four were HIV-positive, 931 carried sickle cell anemia genes, 17 carried the actual sickle cell disease, 307 were either carriers or ill with thalassemia, and 542 were carriers of hepatitis B or C.

Al-Zahrani called on would-be couples not to neglect the checks, adding that 34 people went ahead with their marriages even though checkups showed they suffered from genetic diseases.

He said such people are jeopardizing the health of their future children and subsequent descendants.

Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Al-Obeikan, adviser at the Royal Court, also called on punishing marriage registrars who ignore premarital checkups when conducting marriages.

He added that there is a committee at the Justice Department to monitor marriage officials who register marriages without completing necessary formalities.

“An official who conducts a marriage without fulfilling regulations is responsible for the damages his act might cause to society,” said Al-Obeikan.

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