Courtesy by: ameinfo.com
His Highness Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, today launched a completely dedicated Thalassemia website at the Thalassemia Center of the Dubai Health Authority.
His Highness praised the efforts of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and its commitment to provide internationally recognized levels of care in chronic disease management. During his visit to the Thalassemia Center, he also visited the Dubai Cord Blood and Research Center and the Joslin Diabetes Center.
The team at Dubai’s only dedicated Thalassemia Center in Al Wasl Hospital has designed the site with separate areas for the public and healthcare professionals, in Arabic and English, to help boost education of the disease, and improve communication between itself and the center’s users.
His Excellency Qadhi Saeed Al Murooshid, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority, said:
“The DHA is dedicated to ensure that we reduce the prevalence of Thalassemia in our society and we have given high-priority to measures such as pre-marital testing. While we have implemented healthcare policies to tackle this disease, we realize that it is important to reach out to the public and provide them with up-to-date information on facts, diagnosis and treatment options. Moreover, we want the public and healthcare providers to have a forum to interact with each other, and this website provides such an opportunity.”
Al Murooshid added, “The DHA is keen on providing such easily accessible interactive forums which have information on disease and disease management, as this is crucial to further develop our patient communication systems.”
The website allows users to interact with each other, and to leave comments and suggestions for the center’s staff.
“What we want to do is match the ideal international chronic care module released by WHO, and a website containing accurate up-to-date information on the disease for patients, the public and healthcare professionals, is part of that,” said Dr. Khawla Belhoul, Director of the Thalassemia Center.
Dr. Belhoul added, “The education of patients is a key part of chronic disease management, and the website offers an easily accessible and comprehensive way of doing this. We want to encourage people to use the site to gather information, ask questions, leave comments, and take part in forums where they can discuss issues with other sufferers.”
“Healthcare professionals will benefit from having a localised resource containing international standard information, they can also email us for expert advice,” she said.
The website will add to the center’s already well established patient communication system that uses SMS to alert its patients to treatment changes, appointments, and the center’s activities.
One in 12 people in the UAE carry the gene for thalassemia, a blood disorder that reduces the number of normal blood cells in the body, according to figures collated by the DHA.
If two carriers have children, the likelihood of each child developing the disease is 25%. The lack of red blood cells prevents the normal flow of oxygen around the body, which presents with similar symptoms to anemia.
Around 40% of the patients at the Thalassemia Center are Emiratis, another 40% are expatriates from Asia and Africa, while 20% are other Arab nationals.