Ministry of Health & Prevention Marks World Tuberculosis Day

Dr. Hussein Al Rand: The UAE government has launched, last November, the pilot phase of a smart system for tuberculosis diagnosis, based on Artificial Intelligence

The Ministry of Health and Prevention observed the World Tuberculosis Day, under the theme “The Moment Has Come”.

A number of activities were held to create awareness about the seriousness of Tuberculosis, identify its symptoms and modes of transmission. The activities also aimed to highlight the ministry’s efforts in implementing the National Tuberculosis Control Program by providing free health care to all TB patients, right from diagnosing the disease, through treatment and follow-up, to full recovery. Awareness and education efforts are part of the ministry’s ongoing, integrated year-long plan.

The ministry’s activities included a scientific symposium, which was held to brief the program staff on the latest developments in tuberculosis control, exchange expertise and discuss challenges and areas of improvement. The symposium hosted a renowned foreign expert in tuberculosis control, as well as a number of local experts and university professors.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said TB is transmitted by air. It is the world’s most deadly disease. Every day, about 4,500 people lose their lives because of TB, and about 30,000 people are daily infected with it.

TB control is not confined to the health sector. All sectors must coordinate their activities and be responsible for their role in eliminating tuberculosis. WHO further said: “Each US dollar is being invested in combatting tuberculosis, saving around US $ 43 on health care systems, in addition to the multiple benefits of society. The elimination of tuberculosis is not only morally imperative, but also economically logical.

Development of the Healthcare System for the Prevention of Communicable Diseases

His Excellency Hussein Abdel Rahman Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Clinics and Centers, said World TB Day is an opportunity to raise public awareness about the health, social and economic impact of the Tuberculosis epidemic and to intensify efforts to end this global epidemic.

He shed light on the UAE government’s annual meeting last November, during which, a pilot phase of a smart system for tuberculosis diagnosis has been launched.

“This new system helps reduce government expenditures, which are allocated for the medical and therapeutic facilities, as well as medical teams and diagnostic devices. Also, this system fosters the UAE’s efforts in exploiting the advanced technologies and Artificial Intelligence to develop innovative services contributing to the promotion of individuals’ lives,” added Al Rand.

He also referred to the ministry’s strategy to combat TB and its cooperation and coordination with the World Health Organization, through the development of the health system, in order to protect the UAE community from communicable diseases and to effectively reduce Tuberculosis in the country.

Al Rand noted that the activities of combatting the disease began over 40 years ago, with a view to reducing the number of infected, detecting the illness early and increasing the survival rate.

Implementation of “Early TB Detection” Programme

Dr. Nada Al Marzouqi, Director of Preventive Medicine Department pointed to the participation of the UAE in the Eastern Mediterranean regional strategy from 2016 to 2020, to eradicate Tuberculosis in the region. The Ministry has implemented in collaboration with the health authorities and its strategic partners several preventive strategies and programs to reduce and control the spread of the disease, such as standardization of surveillance methods, standardization of treatment systems, development of an effective follow-up system, provision of Tuberculosis drugs on a regular basis, giving preventive vaccination to children at birth to prevent the occurrence of such a serious disease in childhood and implementing the program of early TB testing as a medical check-up for job applicants in the country.

Awareness Activities on TB

Dr. Fathila Mohammed Sharif, MOHAP’s Director of Health Education and Promotion Department, noted that the activities and events of World TB Day will kick off 24 March until 31 March 2019. These activities include community initiatives in commercial centers, preventive medicine centers and primary health care centers, where health workers participating in these events will answer the public’s queries about the disease and distribute information material.

She noted that medical districts are organizing several awareness activities on tuberculosis. The Dubai Medical district will be organizing on Tuesday a celebration under the theme “The Moment Has Come for a World Free of TB” at the Preventive Medicine department. The event will include a lecture, competition and prizes for winners, distribution of TB awareness leaflet, placing stickers on the entrances to departments and fingerprint devices.

In Umm Al Quwain, the World TB Day activities will include a documentary on tuberculosis, its history besides honoring TB cases recorded in 2018, and program coordinators in health institutions.

Meanwhile, the Sharjah Medical District will be conducting medical tests for tuberculosis, diabetes, hypertension and obesity as well as a lecture on tuberculosis, an exhibition on educational materials and tuberculosis, and an awareness program at Sharjah Municipality, she further said.

Ajman Medical District will also be organizing a forum on public health and tuberculosis besides awareness events in collaboration with several public and private bodies in Ajman.

Moreover, the Ras Al Khaimah Medical district has placed a red lighting on the preventive medicine department to raise the public awareness on TB. It also organized awareness events for RAK Ceramics workers and a social awareness campaign at Manar Mall as well as another awareness event at the TB clinic, RAK Preventive Medicine Department etc….

Email This Post