27 May 2013, Roche UAE together with the Emirates Gastroenterology Society acknowledged the tremendous efforts made by 30 NGOs at a Charity Thanking Day held in Dubai. The event also marked the announcement of National Hepatitis C Awareness Campaign results, which says Hepatitis C has a prevalence of 1.4% in UAE. 

The event was aimed at announcing achievements made by Charities and NGOs working in the UAE to support Hepatitis C patients. The event was attended by 80 representatives from NGOs like Red Crescent, Zakat fund, Sharja TV (Alam wa Aml program) and many other NGOs who have been working over the years to create awareness on the condition, identifying financially disadvantaged patients to help them and providing emotional as well as practical support in coping up with Hepatitis.

“Globally, around 3-4 million new infections are detected every year and NGOs play the critical role of providing the right information at the right time to patients in need. Lack of knowledge regarding complications related to the disease and the damage it can cause if not treated properly can lead to life threatening situations. It is good to see that so much of good work is being done by these NGOs to help patients in the region, said invited guest speaker Charles Gore, President of World Hepatitis Alliance.

“Raising awareness on Hepatitis C is vital towards accurate identification, treatment and control of the disease as it is often goes unnoticed and misdiagnosed. We applaud the tremendous work that the NGOs in the region are doing towards helping patients in need because without proper treatment these patients may spread the virus to others,” said Dr. Yousif Al Serkal- Head of Emirates Medical Association and Vice President of Emirates Gastroenterology Society.

The event also marked the announcement of National Hepatitis C Campaign, which was implemented by Roche UAE in partnership with The Emirates Gastroenterology Society. The campaign which started in December 2012 and continued till mid-May 2013, aimed at creating awareness on the disease through the launch of a toll free number 8004372 and website http://www.hepc.ae/. Around 150,000 sms were sent in English, Arabic and Urdu. Also 50,000 brochures were distributed in English and Arabic, along with free screening activities in malls and social clubs. The campaign was successful in detecting 178 positive cases out of 6022 screened patients.

The event was a big success not only because of high number of NGOs attending the event but also of high media interest. The event was attended by TV and radio channels, online and printed media representatives which generated a number of press coverage.

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