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Press release

The choice is yours, for a UAE without Thalassemia

ADMAF SUPPORTS MARRIAGE FUND’S THALASSEMIA HEALTH AWARENESS CAMPAIGN 13th May 2010

ADMAF SUPPORTS MARRIAGE FUND’S THALASSEMIA HEALTH AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

Grass root campaign deepens Foundation’s involvement in the UAE community

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 13 May 2010:  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.