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“Show your rare…Show you care”: Slogan of the awareness campaign organized by SHAMS for Rare Disease Day 2018 12 February 2018
Dubai, 12 February 2018: Under the slogan “show your rare…. show you care”, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences (HMA) will organize its awareness campaign on rare diseases starting from Saturday, 17th of February 2018 and lasting throughout the week.
As part of the week’s activities, the Hamdan Medical Awards is organizing competitions around the theme of rare diseases, for which it has received participation from a number of public and private schools in the UAE. The competition includes written work, art and painting, and handicraft competitions.  Winners will be announced and honored during the week of the awareness campaign.
In this context, His Excellency Abdullah Bin Souqat, Executive Director of the Award, expressed the interest of the Awards in highlighting the issue of rare diseases in the United Arab Emirates, now for the eighth year in a row, based on the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance. He stressed on the need at the level of the State to do more to understand the nature of these diseases and then develop strategies to resist and reduce their spread.
Dr. Fatma Bastaki, Consultant Pediatrician and Clinical Geneticist at the Latifa Hospital for Women and Children, and the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the campaign, spoke about the main goal of the awareness campaign, which is to educate people from all segments of the society about rare diseases, their prevention and early detection. She elaborated that the awareness campaign includes three major events. 
The first of these are workshops on three parallel tracks for families, nurses and nutritionists at the Mohammed bin Rashid Academy on the 17th of February. The second event is slated to be held from February 18 to February 23, and will include a series of awareness lectures for high school students in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain, Fujairah and Sharjah, and will be presented by a skilled group of female nurses. The third and final event of the campaign will be held on February 23rd at the Dubai Dolphinarium at Creek Park, and will include a dolphin show and the distribution of school honors, pamphlets, brochures, and souvenirs.
Dr. Fatma Al Jasmi, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, and Consultant, Metabolic diseases at Tawam Hospital stressed that the goal of the rare disease day is to spread awareness among families. She added that the offered clinicians a good opportunity to look at the special cases, and know more about them through their parents. 
It should be mentioned that the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies has issued a report on the rare diseases and the importance of scientific research in the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases and the role of patients in the development of scientific research.