UAE marks World Health Day


The theme of this year’s observance fits well with the vision of the United Arab Emirates…reports Asian Lite News

The United Arab Emirates marked the World Health Day (WHD), which this year is themed “My Health, My Right” with the aim of advocating for the right of everyone, everywhere, to access decent health services and care without discrimination.

The theme of this year’s observance fits well with the vision of the United Arab Emirates and its efforts to promote a developed, integrated and accessible and affordable health system for all, which focuses on improving the quality of life of individuals, supports healthy lifestyles, and enjoys the highest levels of readiness for the future and quality in specialized care.

The event is an opportunity to highlight the achievements of the health sector in the United Arab Emirates, which continues to have a regional and international leadership in terms of medical services and scientific achievements, reaffirming its readiness and ability to face all health challenges in accordance with the best international standards and systems.

The UAE has made remarkable achievements in the global health competitiveness indexes. The UAE came first globally in measles immunisation, according to the Prosperity Index 2023, issued by Legatum Institute. The UAE also ranked first globally and in the Arab world in prenatal care coverage, low infant mortality rate, injuries from natural disasters, and the presence of national early detection programmes.

According to the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals Index issued by the Bertelsmann Stiftung Foundation and the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the UAE also ranked first in the world for number of births registered with the civil authorities.

The UAE also ranked first in the world in the extent of health care coverage and the lack of fuel-caused air pollution inside of homes, according to the Prosperity Index 2023.

The country also placed first in the Arab world and second globally in terms of satisfaction with health care, based on a measurement of the population’s satisfaction with the availability of quality health care through a Gallup World Poll.

The UAE also ranked first in the Arab world and second globally in the rate of tuberculosis infection per 100,000 population, according to the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals Index.

The country’s health authorities and their strategic partners have implemented many preventive strategies to reduce and control the spread of tuberculosis, including unifying surveillance methods and treatment systems.

The UAE Health Council, which coordinates efforts among federal and local health service providers, as well as the private sector, to promote integration and enhance the quality of healthcare in the country, addresses common challenges in the healthcare sector and works collaboratively with relevant authorities to implement appropriate measures. It also examines proposed laws, regulations, and guidelines related to the healthcare industry, providing feedback and recommendations to the appropriate authorities, and promotes scientific research and studies.

During a meeting held on Thursday, 21st March, the Council endorsed several decisions aimed at bolstering the health sector and fostering a cohesive approach between federal and local health authorities along with strategic partners. The UAE Health Council discussed key strategic initiatives in the country’s health sector including plans for establishing a national centre for epidemic prevention as well as the latest developments on the health cloud project.

The health cloud project utilises cutting-edge cloud computing technology, offering a secure platform for storing, sharing, and managing health data. It facilitates quick and easy access to health information, thereby enhancing the quality and efficiency of healthcare services.

From improving communication between health providers and patients, to fostering innovation in health research, and providing advanced analytical capabilities for identifying health trends and diseases, the health cloud project paves the way for enhancing healthcare delivery and outcomes.

In December 2023, the COP28 Presidency joined with the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced a new ”COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health” to accelerate actions to protect people’s health from growing climate impact.

Signed by 123 countries, the Declaration marks a world first in acknowledging the need for governments to protect communities and prepare healthcare systems to cope with climate-related health impacts such as extreme heat, air pollution and infectious diseases.

The Declaration covers a range of action areas at the nexus of climate and health, including building more climate-resilient health systems, strengthening cross-sectoral collaboration to reduce emissions and maximise the health benefits of climate action, and increasing finance for climate and health solutions. Signatories have also committed to incorporate health targets in their national climate plans and improve international collaboration to address the health risks of climate change, including at future COPs.

During COP28, the United Arab Emirates demonstrated its commitment to shaping a bright future for the healthcare sector and setting new global standards by adopting a comprehensive approach that focuses primarily on the principles of excellence in environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, which contribute to enabling the healthcare sector to meet future needs.

The UAE highlighted its commitment to sustainability and its efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the healthcare sector.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has unveiled an updated version of the UAE National Framework on Climate Change and Health as a proactive measure against the health impacts of climate change and air pollution.

Developed in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and coordination with relevant government agencies at the state level, the framework is designed to safeguard community well-being and mitigate climate-related health risks.

The updated framework was announced during a session organised by the Ministry on the sidelines of the ongoing COP28 at Expo City Dubai. The national framework is built on several key pillars, including governance, policies, and community engagement to safeguard health from climate change effects.

It also emphasises the need for resilient health systems, efficient surveillance, early warning, response mechanisms, and the enhancement of environmental health interventions. Furthermore, the framework aims to garner support for bolstering public health responses to climate change challenges.

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The United Arab Emirates is working to develop its health sector in order to support its capabilities to face various challenges. Spending on this vital sector has witnessed increasing growth over the past years. While AED3.835 billion were allocated for health services and community prevention in the UAE federal budget in 2016, the allocations rose significantly to AED5.2 billion in the general budget for 2024.

The UAE is also working to strengthen its multiple international partnerships in the health field and is keen to promote innovation and development in this sector. Over the past years, the UAE has worked on the intensive use of artificial intelligence technologies in the field of health within a plan that aims to integrate artificial intelligence by 100 per cent in medical services in line with the UAE Centennial 2071.(ANI/WAM)

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