Merck, the leading pharmaceutical and chemical company based in Darmstadt, Germany, producing innovative and top-quality high-tech products and Al Jalila Foundation, a global, UAE-based philanthropic organization founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced at a press conference that they cooperate for the “Music for the MS Soul” which will help patients who need treatment. Through the concert, Merck and Al Jalila Foundation aim to support multiple sclerosis patients in need of financial aid for treatment in the UAE. The concert was performed by Deutsche Philharmonic Merck during the weekend at Burj Park, Downtown Dubai, UAE.
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, making it difficult for the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate effectively with one another. Disease causes these patients different grades of disability that even keeps progressing. Symptoms usually appear during early adulthood, devastatingly impacting a patient’s quality of life.
“This has not only been a great success for both Al Jalila Foundation and Merck, but also for patients suffering from MS,” said Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, Chief Executive Officer of Al Jalila Foundation, “We managed to raise the donations to generate the awareness and support needed to fund our medical education, research, treatment programmes. We were delighted to see the number of participants that joined us in this cause and we look forward to having more events in the future."
As part of his visit to Dubai for the concert, Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board and the Family Board of E.Merck KG, Dr. Stangenberg-Haverkamp attended the press conference. He said, “It’s a pleasure to be here, especially for such an exciting event for a very important cause. For 13 generations my family has been committed to improving health and well-being around the world, whether through medicines that treat or prevent disease or simply reaching out to patients in need. The performance by the Deutsche Philharmonie Merck is meant to inspire the hearts and minds of the people to realize their responsibility towards MS patients in their community.”
Commenting on the importance of supporting patients, Elcin Ergun, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Commercial at Merck Serono, said, “Through Music for the MS Soul, which is one of the many ways we are working together with Al Jalila Foundation, we will be able to raise awareness of MS among the community and raise the funds needed to support patients in the UAE. We are confident that when the UAE people know and understand the plight of MS patients not only from a disease management perspective but also the stigma they face, they will get more involved to support this worthy cause.”
The concert is part of a Memorandum of Understanding between Merck and Al Jalila Foundation to develop awareness, fund-raising and research initiatives for Multiple Sclerosis. Paolo Carli, Head of Middle East & Egypt Region at Merck Serono, said, “For decades our efforts have been focused on delivering solutions that meet the unmet needs of our patients and are committed to enhancing patient support for those suffering in the UAE. The MoU with Al Jalila Foundation, enables us to better serve patients bringing them closer to the treatment, care and support to live a better quality of life beyond their condition.”
Studies indicate that patients often turn to music therapy to help with their condition and is in fact a form of therapy used to help patients learn to initiate and coordinate movements, improve memory and cognitive impairment, as well as improve physical strength and flexibility. The Deutsche Philharmonie Merck acts as Merck’s cultural ambassador and performs everywhere in the world. With up to 80 professional musicians and a very diverse concert repertoire, this privileged orchestra is an integral part of the cultural life in the vicinity of the Merck Group headquarters in Darmstadt.