RIYADH, 27 May 2007 — The first database of disabled people in the Kingdom is soon to be established, said a senior official from the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research (PSCDR).
“This database will be comprehensive. It will also be the main source of information in the field of disability and a resource for decision makers, researchers and academics in the country,” Prince Sultan ibn Salman, chairman of the board of trustees of PSCDR, said yesterday during the second annual meeting of the center’s founding board members.
The event was attended by over 100 founding members, the majority of whom local businessmen and representatives of banks and private institutions. Also attending were Minister of Health Dr. Hamad Al-Manie, Minister of Education Abdullah Al-Obeid, Deputy Minister of Petroleum and Minerals Prince Abdul Aziz ibn Salman, and Saudi Research and Marketing Group Chairman Prince Faisal bin Salman.
Prince Sultan also announced that a new academy specializing in research is soon to be established with the cooperation of the Ministry of Higher Education, the Prince Sultan University and the Prince Sultan Charitable Association.
“The new academy would be under the supervision of PSCDR and has been approved by members of the board,” said Prince Sultan.
He said the PSCDR had proposed the establishment of the first nationwide center to follow up on the growth of children.
“The proposed center will specialize in identifying diseases that cause disabilities among children at early stages. It will also identify the environmental causes of disability and cure them once they are identified,” he said.
Prince Sultan said that this year’s board meeting signaled the care shown by the government to disabled persons. “This is evident in the huge sums allocated on an annual basis to establish rehabilitation centers for the disabled,” he said.
The meeting was held to review the center’s achievements last year and to approve its budget for the current year.
Commenting on the achievements of the PSCDR, he said the center is due to finalize a nationwide awareness program on the causes of disability and methods to combat them with the cooperation of the Disabled Children’s Association and the sponsorship of the Saudi Telecom Company (STC).
He also said the PSCDR had set an outstanding example for the management of charitable endowments, which could be followed by others.
Governor of Riyadh and the founder of PSCDR Prince Salman thanked the members for their efforts to develop the center. “There is full cooperation between the management of PSCDR, businessmen and government bodies to take this center to higher grounds,” he said.
Prince Salman said businessmen had been generous to the center in the past. “I tell you with all openness: I do not complain at all of any negligence on the businessmen’s part,” he said, adding that the majority of charitable projects nationwide were being endorsed by local businessmen.
Saad Al-Hassan, consultant of reproductive medicine at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, said that the PSCDR had cooperated recently with the hospital to cure a Saudi woman of a genetic disorder that made her give birth to disabled children.
“The woman, along with her two disabled children, had been transferred to us. We managed to remove her genes that caused the disability and replace them with healthy ones. ... She has now given birth to a healthy baby free from diseases via incubators. She named the newborn infant Salman after the Riyadh governor,” said Al-Hassan.