Dubai hosts inaugural Arab health summit
Dubai, April 8, 2013
Leading global experts shed light on the importance of public health and the use of new public health approaches for promotion of community health at regional and national levels at the first 'Arab World Conference on Public Health'.
The conference was hosted by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) under the umbrella of World Federation of Public Health Associations from April 4 to 6 under the theme “Towards Excellence in Public Health: Opportunities and Challenges in the Arab World.”
The sub-themes of the summit included Leadership in Public Health, Health System Development and Capacity Building in Public Health, Research and Health Information, Public Health Policies and Strategies and Community Partnering for Better Health.
Speaking after opening the inaugural conference at Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, DHA director general Essa Al Maidoor said, "The event will serve as a real jumpstart to joint efforts in the Arab region in dealing with challenges such as increasing incidence of diabetes, heart diseases, obesity and cancer, which have claimed millions of lives in the region."
These health issues pose a threat, which cannot be deterred without effective public health policies based on awareness, prevention and the engagement of the community, he added.
Prevention, said Al Maidoor, is an integral part of public health strategies and “this is what we do in Dubai where public health is now up to international standards.”
Several top healthcare professionals and public health leaders (WHO, renowned Universities, Government bodies), service providers, NGOs, advocates, trainers and students attended the event.
Prof Tawfik Ahmed Khoja, the director-general of the executive board of the Health Ministers’ Council for the GCC said the way forward to Arab public health was through public health laws and systems in the GCC countries.
He commended the progress made by the UAE to improve public health.
Dr Lubna Al Shaali, the head of the Scientific Committee of the conference, said 38 key speakers discussed public health priorities in the region including creation of a regional forum for exchange of knowledge, experience and success stories on key public health issues in Arab countries.
These included Dr Muhammad Wasif, the acting head of public health department at the DHA and Dr Mohammed Al Redha, the director of Health Data and Information Analysis Department.
The experts later held discussions on the Arab region’s major public health challenges and the announcement of the Dubai Declaration on Public Health.
Abstracts and posters dealing with major issues related to promoting world class public health services, opportunities and threats were shared and studied by participants during the course of the congress.-TradeArabia News Service