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IOF Patron champions importance of educating young people about bone health

ROME, Italy
12 October 2001

Jordan's Queen Rania will be awarded a prestigious Life Award in recognition of her "international patronage of the IOF and for her voluntary work for the international cause of osteoporosis."

Queen Rania is patron of IOF-International Osteoporosis Foundation.

Previous winners of the Italian government-sponsored award include Dr. Christiaan Barnard for his pioneering work on heart transplants, Rita Levi Montalcini, Nobel Prize winner for developing neurological mechanisms to fight the physiological process of brain ageing, Prof. Zaki Shapira for his work on organ transplants, Mrs. Maria Pia Garavaglia, president of the Italian Red Cross.

"We are very proud that our patron will be given this award," notes Professor Pierre D. Delmas, president of the IOF. "Since she joined us in 1999, millions of people have become informed about how they can prevent, diagnose and treat 'the silent epidemic.' Her contribution to raising awareness about the disease has been invaluable."

Osteoporosis, sometimes called 'brittle bone disease', affects one in three women and one in three men worldwide. Osteoporotic fractures can lead to disability and deformity. The disease is easy to diagnose and treat but physicians often ignore the symptoms and simply tell sufferers that "they are getting old."

The annual award, a sculpture by the artist Pasquale Basile, recognizes volunteers whose efforts help to improve the quality of life and promote human dignity.

The award is given on the occasion of the International Congress "Ageing & Society", which will be held at Salsomaggiore Terme, Italy, on 27 October, 2001.

Queen Rania being presented the award

Because of previous commitments, Queen Rania will be presented the award at a special ceremony in Rome, on 12 October at 15.30 at the Italian Parliament – Palazzo Montecitorio. The prize will be awarded by a group of senior government officials, including:

  • Minister of Health, Dr Girolamo Sirchia,
  • Under-Secretary of State Dr Guido Viceconte (President of the Ageing & Society Congress)
  • Under-Secretary of State, Mr Cosimo Ventucci – head of relations with Parliament
  • Member of Parliament Mr Rocco Buttiglione – head for European Union policy
  • Member of Parliament Mr Pier Ferdinando Casini, president of the Chamber of Deputies
  • Member of Parliament Mr Ugo Lisi – head of the Health Commission and vice president of the Congress
  • Member of Parliament Mr Marcello Pera, president of the Senate

On 27 October two other IOF-related people will receive Life Awards.

Photographer Oliviero Toscani will be commended for creating "Osteoporosis: A Photographic Vision", an exhibition featuring dramatic photographs of 21 osteoporosis patients which will be launched in Rome on 19 October, and Professor Herbert Fleisch, MD, IOF's treasurer, will be cited for his groundbreaking work in the discovery of bisphosphonates, one of the earliest and most effective treatments for osteoporosis.

For more information

Queen Rania's press office
Attention: Rania Atalla +96-2-77-513183


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