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MSD Gulf launches sandstorm health risk campaign

Raises awareness about respiratory diseases

| | May 11, 2013 | 2:19 am
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Raises awareness about respiratory diseases

MSD, a global healthcare company with a presence in the UAE since the 1970s (MSD Gulf), announced that as part of its ongoing commitment to raising awareness of key health problems that affect the local communities, it has launched an awareness campaign to educate UAE citizens on the dangers sandstorms pose and to provide information on the best ways to manage respiratory problems resulting from these storms.

may2013-region05Hosted at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai, the event brought together medical and environmental experts who discussed the causes and dangers of sandstorms, as well as the best way for UAE citizens to protect themselves from them.

The awareness campaign, which is supposed to run over the next few months, in line with the UAE’s sandstorm season, will focus on providing patients and medical professionals with important information on how to manage allergies and respiratory problems, MSD added.

Talking about the campaign, Mazen Altaruti, Managing Director of MSD Gulf, said: “Officials have suggested that hospital admissions due to respiratory diseases, such as asthma, have increased by as much as 25% over the last few years, as a result of severe weather, particularly sandstorms.”

MSD added that sandstorms are a major cause of allergic rhinitis, as they carry large amounts of allergens, including bacteria, fungi, viruses and pollens and because sandstorms have the ability to carry these allergens over large distances, the risk of bacterial and viral infections greatly increases during the sandstorm season.

Dr Hussain Abdel Rahman, Director of Medical Affairs and Head of the ENT Department at Dubai Hospital, added, “In severe cases and when left untreated, allergic rhinitis can lead to asthma, even in patients with no previous history of this illness.”

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