Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University Organizes Awareness-Raising Program Entitled: ‘Multiple Sclerosis’

The UQU Vice President for Female Students Affairs, Dr. Sarah bint Omar Al-Khuli, inaugurated an Awareness-Raising Program on Multiple Sclerosis and the accompanying exhibition, last Wednesday, at the university's female section. The program included several events through which it was revealed that the testing period can cause complications for infected female students, since it contributes to increasing psychological pressure. This is one of the simulating factors of the disease, resulting in the immune system in the body attacking its tissues. This fact requires providing facilities for infected female students.

The program was launched with the participation of three female students infected with the disease, who briefly reviewed their story with the condition, and their efforts to complete their university education. Their stories sparked support and appreciation by the female attendees, after the three females were honored by Dr. Sarah Al-Khuli.

The program events included several contributions, starting with the Senior Consultant and Assistant Professor of Neurology at the College of Medicine Dr. Amal Khutani, who introduced the disease. In addition, the Vice Dean of the College of Nursing, Dr. Fatimah Al-Sulami, and the Head of the Department and Assistant Professor at the College of Nursing, Dr. Nahla Tayib, reviewed a healthy lifestyle for the infected. Finally, Assistant Professor at the College of Nursing, Dr. Sanaa Al-Sulami, explained self-management of the infection.

Since Multiple Sclerosis patients are in need of care similar to that of people with special needs, Her Excellency the Vice Dean of Faculty Members and Employees Affairs at the female section, Dr. Khuloud Abul-Naja, referred to the services provided by the Center for People with Special Needs (Ghali). On her part, Ms. Noura Al-Khaldi, lecturer at the College of Nursing, tackled the community supportive services.

As for the psychological aspect, the Vice Dean for Student Activities and Training, Dr. Nahlaa Hariri, highlighted the psychological disorder common among the infected. On her part, Dr. Effat Shaqdar referred to the importance of the role of counseling played by the family.

Along with this program, the accompanying exhibition witnessed the participation of the medical departments. The College of Medicine clarified the nature of the disease, its diagnosis, and symptoms. As for the College of Pharmacy, it reviewed the remedies used. In addition, the College of Public Health and Health Informatics tackled the methods of awareness-raising. The College of Applied Medical Sciences explained how to deal with the disease through the diagnosis, and the necessary procedures of respiratory care to cope with progressive stages that may finally result in lung dysfunction. At the end, the physiotherapists tackled the methods they adopted with those infected with the disease.

The participants in the dental corner clarified how the patient suffers from problems in the jaw muscles. Additionally, the College Nursing corner covered the services provided to the patient if s/he becomes unable to serve him/herself.

On her part, Dr. Sarah bint Omar Al-Khuli, UQU Vice President for Female Student Affairs, considered the program as an effective activity contributing to raising awareness in the minds of female students, and helping them become well informed. Furthermore, she expressed her thanks to the Deanship for Student Activities and Training, represented by the Vice Dean, Dr. Nahlaa Hariri, for the exerted efforts leading to activities that support the university's goals.

Through dealing with those who are infected with this disease, the Vice Dean for Student Activities and Training, Dr. Nahlaa Hariri, learnt that some entities do not accept medical reports submitted by female students regarding this disease, since it is unknown by many people. She said, "At the College of Medicine, we know about this disease which leads to severe muscle relaxation, resulting in the inability to stand and walk, being an autoimmune disease that fights the tissues of the body. That is why we facilitate matters concerning the female students infected with it."

She pointed out that although the International Day for this disease coincides with the end of the second semester, they had to implement a comprehensive awareness-raising program before this date in order to clarify the details of this disease to the female students, university affiliates, and the female academic staff members, to support those infected. She added, "This disease targets young people, especially those whose age is between 15 and 35 years."