World Osteoporosis Day 2018 activities in the Middle-East and Africa

Public information in Qatar
World Osteoporosis Day March in Jordan
In Iran, as in many countries in the region, WOD is also an occasion for healthcare professional training
Information booth at a mall in Kuwait
Nigeria celebrates World Osteoporosis Day
Public information for World Osteoporosis Day in Saudi Arabia
WOD is a focal point for public awareness and healthcare professional occasion throughout the Middle East and Africa region, with events and campaigns held throughout October and in early November.

IOF’s member societies in the Middle East and Africa region carried out many varied activities and campaigns to bring osteoporosis awareness and education to the general public, patients, policy makers and healthcare professionals. New World Osteoporosis Day resources, including a selection of four posters, were made available in Arabic (brochure for patients/public and brochure for healthcare professionals on spinal fractures, fact sheet on anorexia nervosa and bone health) and we hope were widely used in the region by Arabic-speaking member societies. 

Below we are pleased to share some brief information about the campaigns in this region (as reported to us so far) which are listed on the World Osteoporosis Day website:


To mark World Osteoporosis Day, the Bahrain Osteoporosis Society held various events and activities. For outreach to the public, the Society held osteoporosis awareness lectures in schools, universities and at charity societies. Bone density screening, with free consultations and referral of patients for advanced screening if needed, was also provided - see World Osteoporosis report. The occasion also coincided with the Bahrain Osteoporosis Society board meeting and with the 1st GCC Osteoporosis Meeting conference. The Bahrain Osteoporosis Society is very active and cooperates on a regional level, participating in conferences such as the KSA osteoporosis conferences and the UAE conference, in addition to local conferences and meetings. 


World Osteoporosis Day has a strong tradition in Iran, with the Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Institute - EMRI  staging multiple activities every year. This year was no exception, and EMRI held a week of varied activities dedicated to public awareness of osteoporosis and its prevention, as well as to healthcare professional education. The campaign included various IOF World Osteoporosis Day resources  made available in Persian and distributed through social media and via the EMRI website. An Osteoporosis Essentials Course and a One-day Osteoporosis Seminar were held, as was a press conference which resulted in media reports.


The joint 9th Pan Arab Osteoporosis Society and 3rd Iraqi League for Bone and Joint Health Congress took place from Nov. 1 – 3 in Beirut, Lebanon, under the title “Update in Musculoskeletal Diseases”. The Congress was a great success with 223 registrations, 8 scientific sessions, 6 Meet the Experts Sessions, 4 Abstract Sessions, and 6 Satellite Symposia. The scientific level was high, with great interaction between speakers and attendees. As well, the PAOS- IOF- ESCEO session was successful and highly appreciated, with speakers including Prof. JY Reginster, Prof. R. Rizzoli and Prof. S Ferrari.


The Jordanian Osteoporosis Prevention Society (JOPS) held its Annual World Osteoporosis Day March, in one of the main avenues in Amman, and held an awareness talk for the participants. This year close to 1000 participants attended the March, which is held in collaboration with other social and medical societies. The March took place at the King Hussein Parks in Amman. Several medical stations distributed free medical tests for the public, such as measuring blood-pressure and diabetes tests. A free breakfast rich in calcium was provided to the participants. JOPS prepared a brochure to be distributed to participants and arranged media- coverage so the event could be broadcasted live on local channels. In addition, JOPS continued its National campaign to screen women for osteoporosis all over the country. The campaign now focuses on distant areas all over Jordan, targetting men and women who have risk factors for screening. JOPS has also established a new branch in Irbid city to spread awareness among people in that city.


The Kuwait Osteoporosis Society (KOPS)  celebrates World Osteoporosis Day every year with a public educational event. This year’s event took place in the Avenues Mall on Saturday, October 20th. It was attended by the Minister of Health and the Honorary President of KOPS, Sheikha Dr. Souad Mohammad Al-Sabah and covered by local media. At the informative stands, physicians provided consultations and reviewed risk factors for osteoporosis (applying the FRAX Fracture Risk Assessment Tool), dieticians provided advice on healthy lifestyle, physical therapists gave advice on balance and gait stabilities to avoid falls, and free heel bone mineral density measurements helped to identify individuals at higher risk who were encouraged to get further testing. 


In Nigeria two events to mark World Osteoporosis Day were reported by the Foundation for the Awareness of Osteoporosis: A breakfast informational event for the general public provided information about bone health.


For World Osteoporosis Day 2018, the Palestinian Osteoporosis Prevention Society organized an Educational National Seminar entitled "Osteoporosis: From Prevention To Management in Daily Practice" on October 18th, 2018 at Jacir Palace Hotel in Bethlehem. The Seminar was organized in cooperation with the Faculty of Medicine at both An Najah and Al Quds Universities. It was held as a mandatory activity for medical students,  with the intention to emphasize the holistic approach to osteoporosis in daily clinical practice and in order to enhance the capacity of future physicians and prepare the ground for effective evidence- based bone health care provision in Palestine regarding osteoporosis and related diseases. Two invited speakers from Jordan participated at the meeting and the number of participating future physicians in their last year of medical studies at both faculties is estimated to be around 220 participants.

Saudi Arabia

World Osteoporosis Day week was the occasion of the first Capture the Fracture FLS workshop in the region  held in Saudi Arabia in cooperation with the Saudi Osteoporosis Society on October 27th. It was a successful event which we hope will set a precedent for future mentorship trainings and workshops in the region. Earlier, the Student Development Unit at Batterjee Medical College (BMC) organized an event at Roshan Mall in Jeddah to raise awareness in the community of the drawbacks of osteoporosis and Vitamin D deficiency. This was reported on in the Saudi Gazette


In Qatar a World Osteoporosis Day Symposium with practical information for clinicians was held on November 3rd at Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City. The Symposium looked at screening, glucorticoid-induced osteoporosis, management strategies, and other topics of clinical importance to the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. In addition, public booths at various hospitals offered patient information by distributing informational brochures to the public.