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Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center

IOF visit to the Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center (EMRC) in Tehran

The IOF targeted support visit to the Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center (EMRC) in Tehran from September 3-4, 2004 was honoured by the participation of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafasanjani, former president of Iran.



Recognizing that osteoporosis is a global problem, Rafasanjani promised his support to the EMRC, particularly in their efforts to promote vitamin D supplementation.

President Rafsanjani, currently head of the Islamic Republicís Expediency Discernment Council, was speaking following a one-hour meeting in the context of IOF Targeted Support visit to the country.

After noting that osteoporosis is reported in the Quíran in the story of Zakarias, he congratulated IOF for its good work in all countries, without regards for politics, and urged international exchange of information and support.



Osteoporosis in Iran is a serious and growing problem.
Two million people are at risk of fracture, and currently there are 46,000 hip fractures/year, which cost million annually.Peak bone mass in Iran is 3.9% greater than that of Japan, 5.6% less than U.S.

IOFís targeted support program sends IOF representatives to a member society to provide counsel and support for policy or communications projects at the national level. Ghassan Maalouf IOFís Board member responsible for Middle East and Paul Sochaczewski IOF head of communications spent three days in Tehran as the first stage of Targeted Support for EMRC.



EMRC made a presentation on osteoporosis in Iran, and on EMRC work and plans with Associate Professor Sedagha, followed by a presentation by IOF about international activities and opportunities for EMRC to participate.

In other meetings the Targeted Support team, led by the hosts, EMRC Director Bagher Larijani and Eghbal Taheri, head of international affairs of EMRC discussed and adopted some 20 recommendations for EMRC and also obtained promises of increased support from two strong EMRC partners - the deputy minister of health and the director of the national television board.

The IOF mission also held two lengthy discussions with some 40 professionals from EMRC, including Professor Tabatabai, who is the director of the newly created patient society, Iranian Osteoporosis Society.



Highlights

EMRC made a presentation on osteoporosis in Iran, and on EMRC work and plans with Associate Professor Sedagha, followed by a presentation by IOF about international activities and opportunities for EMRC to participate. These presentations will be posted on the IOF Middle East website.

EMRC confirmed its position as one of IOF's most active and creative national societies, and several of their activities would provide an example of good practice to other IOF members. They run a 24 hour/7 days a week osteoporosis hotline, have a large and expanding program of vitamin D supplementation, have excellent research facilities and have published more than 300 scientific papers. Dr Larijani is also a world expert on Islamic medical ethics and has written several books on the subject.

At the same time, EMRC expressed its desire to continue to actively participate in IOF activities and to communicate with and learn from other IOF societies.

Two long meetings were held with some 40 EMRC colleagues at which some 18 recommendations were presented. EMRC also announced the creation of the Iranian Osteoporosis Society, a patient-oriented society, which will apply for IOF membership. IOS legal registration has been approved by the government.

As an example of the high level at which EMRC works, productive and long meetings were held with:

·Ayatollah H. Rafsanjani, former president of Iran. Mr Rafsanjani confirmed his support for EMRC. EMRC is preparing a short video of Mr Rafsanjani's presentation.

·Dr Akbari, deputy minister of health.

·Mr. Zarghami, director of IRIB (television broadcasting organization).

The group also visited the headquarters of Charity Foundation for Special Diseases and gave an interview with Iran's leading daily newspaper.

04.11.2004


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