Education and awareness can beat osteoporosis

DUBAI - To mark the annual World Osteoporosis Day this month, the Chairperson of Umm Al Moumneen Women Association, Her Highness Shaikha Fatima bint Zayed bin Saqr Al Nahyan, wife of the Ruler of Ajman, has given her patronage and support to the UAE's first-ever National Osteoporosis Alliance also known as 3B (Better Bone Belt).

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Fri 17 Oct 2003, 12:18 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 11:36 PM

In the UAE, one in three women and one in eight men over the age of 50 develop osteoporosis. The debilitating effect of the disease on the patient and its social impact on the family unit and the healthcare sector has been widely recognised worldwide.

"Through education and awareness, osteoporosis can be defeated. Knowing the risk factors involved in the disease could help victims and their families cope with the condition. The 3B initiative is one giant step towards achieving that goal," Shaikha Fatima said.

The National Osteoporosis Alliance, through the patronage of Shaikha Fatima, could reach out to more people suffering from osteoporosis, educating them on the latest treatment options available in the UAE. At the same time, 3B has developed community outreach programmes aimed at increasing the awareness level of the general public about the painful effects of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a silent ailment, a disease with no symptoms that can steal away a patient's independence. It is considered a major health burden with devastating impact and consequences.

An average of 24 per cent of hip fracture among patients aged 50 and over die in the year following their fracture. Six months after a hip fracture, only 15 per cent of patients can walk across a room unaided. A woman's risk of hip fracture is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.

October 18 to 23 is being marked as the Osteoporosis Awareness Week in the UAE. The 3B alliance will be holding educational lectures and workshops with women's associations and in universities all around the UAE on October 19.

A conference on osteoporosis will be held for women's organisations on October 20 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, Dubai at 10am. The panel of speakers will discuss the latest developments treatment for osteoporosis and the preventive measures that can be taken to avoid the onset of the disease.

Shaikha Fatima, known as an advocate of women's issues in the UAE, believes that through the campaign, the understanding of the disease affecting majority of women will be enhanced, which is a great step towards combating it.

Through education, thousands of lives can be saved from the crippling effects of osteoporosis and a lot of women could lead comfortable lives.

The 3B group will also be in Deira City Centre during the Osteoporosis Awareness Week, where everyone can get a copy of the brochures on osteoporosis as well as the "green ribbon" which signifies support for the campaign.

All women's organisations, people suffering from osteoporosis, including their families and friends in the UAE, are encouraged to join the conference. Medical practitioners are also invited to share their expertise on the subject.

Osteoporosis is becoming one of the major health issues worldwide. With Shaikha Fatima's support, the National Osteoporosis Alliance will be better equipped in its awareness, advocacy and prevention campaign on osteoporosis.

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