H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum acknowledged the tremendous efforts made by 20 charities in UAE, at the Charity Thanking Day.
  • Emirates Gastroenterology Society, in partnership with Roche, brought together the NGOs and Charities who have been instrumental in creating awareness on the disease and supporting patients who are financially disadvantaged with no access to treatment

  • More than 2229 patients have benefitted from the various programs undertaken

  • According to WHO, around 180 million suffer from Hepatitis C worldwide and 80% of the virus carriers can live symptom-free for years without knowing that they are infected

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, May 28, 2014: Under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, Emirates Gastroenterology Society in partnership with Roche, commended the achievements made by Charities and NGOs working in UAE to support Hepatitis C patients, through a Charity Thanking Day held today. The event was attended by more than 100 representatives from 20 leading charities including Red Crescent, Zakat Fund, Dar Al Ber Society, Sharjah Charity International, Sharjah Media Corporation and Al Ehsan Charity Society.

“Around 350,000 to 500,000 patients die each year from Hepatitis C related liver diseases.1 This can be attributed to low disease awareness which deters detection and transfer of the infection, inaccessibility to proper treatment and financial disadvantage of patients. In the UAE, Charities and NGOs play a major role in the management of these issues and helping patients in need. Organized for the third consecutive year, Charity Thanking Day is our continuous effort to applaud the great work being done by these institutions,” said Dr. Mariam Al Khatery, President of Emirates Gastroenterology Society.

The event saw the revelation of a documentary highlighting the efforts being undertaken by several of these charities in the field of Hepatitis C awareness and improving patient’s access to treatment. Hepatitis C virus is a silent killer and 80% of the patients can live without significant symptoms for years. Also for patients who are financially challenged and may not have health insurance, treatment costs can deter them, creating a high risk situation of infecting others around them with the virus. These charities undertake various measures to increase public awareness around the disease and facilitating treatment for patients in need.

The charities were individually acknowledged through distribution of commemorative trophies to the charity leaders. The event saw enthusiastic participation from more than 100 charity representatives, applauding each other’s terrific contribution towards control of Hepatitis C in UAE.

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus. The virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis infection, ranging in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious lifelong disease.  The infection usually doesn’t produce any signs or symptoms until at a late stage and they can range from fever, fatigue, nausea, muscle and joint pain, jaundice etc. Late stage complications can include scarring of the liver tissue, liver cancer and liver failure. The virus is detected through a blood test and extent of liver damage is determined through testing samples of liver tissue.2

The Emirates Gastroenterology Society was formed in 1995 with an intention of advancing the science and practice of digestive diseases through mutual professional interaction among doctors in the UAE with active interest in this field.

Currently this forum has around 160 active members from various specialties like Medical and Surgical Gastroenterology, Pediatrics, Radiology, Pathology, General medicine and Surgery. The Society meets every month with active programmes covering clinical problems related to the specialty.

The Society has ongoing plans to do epidemiological studies, clinical trials and basic research so as to have authentic data on the common and relevant clinical problems in the UAE. From humble beginnings this forum has grown into one of the most active professional forums in UAE maintaining a high standard.

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. Founded in 1896, Roche has been making important contributions to global health for more than a century. Twenty-four medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organisation Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy.

In 2013 the Roche Group employed over 85,000 people worldwide, invested 8.7 billion Swiss francs in R&D and posted sales of 46.8 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit


  1. Hepatitis C facts and figures by WHO.

  2. Hepatitis C information.

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