The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention celebrated today (Tuesday, April 18, 2017) the World Malaria Day under the theme ‘Malaria-Free’ at the InterContinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City. Held under the presence of H.E. Dr. Yousef Al Serkal Assistant Undersecretary for Hospitals Sector, the event was attended by Ibrahim Obaid Al Naboodah, Director of the National Center for Malaria Vector Control along with Departmental Directors and representatives of various health authorities and municipalities.
Dr. Aisha Suhail, Director of primary health care said in the opening speech on behalf of His Excellency Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Undersecretary Assistant for Health Centers and Clinics: “World Malaria Day is an occasion to highlight the continual need for efforts to mobilize the commitment to the prevention and control of the disease as well as increase awareness among individuals on avoiding the infection.” She stated that the Ministry’s strategy had been effective in protecting the community from communicable diseases and controlling them through an efficient preventive healthcare system. She pointed out that the UAE was one of the first countries in the Middle East that was declared officially free of malaria in 2007 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and that there have been no recorded cases of the disease since 1997.
Dr.Aisha added, “Alongside commemorating World Malaria Day, we are also celebrating the 10th anniversary of our achievement in eradicating the disease from the UAE. However, the efforts of the Ministry and the various healthcare authorities will not stop here. We have a robust malaria surveillance program to detect and treat cases as well as the detection and control of insects in cooperation with neighboring countries.”
Furthermore, Dr.Aisha explained that the Ministry, within the framework of its efforts to combat communicable diseases, has set up Traveller’s clinics at the primary healthcare center’s preventive medicine department that will provide free vaccinations for various infectious diseases to citizens and residents. It will also offer health education and preventive medicines for malaria to people who are traveling to countries where malaria is endemic.
Eng. Mohamed Al Marzouki, Director of Pest Control Projects Department at Tadweer said: "I would like to thank MOHAP for inviting us to participate in World Malaria Day 2017, which plays an important role in promoting the health of citizens and residents, while protecting them from pests and insects, in addition to Malaria and other diseases.
A scientific symposium was held along the sidelines of the celebration, which covered the presentation of three scientific papers. Dr. Fatima Hussein, family medicine consultant at MOHAP, talked about the UAE's efforts to prevent and treat malaria. While, Dr. Ahmed Hafez, Consultant of Infectious Diseases at Rashid Hospital, DHA, presented the latest developments in malaria treatment and prevention.
A documentary film about the most important efforts in combating malaria, and highlights of the achievements. The Ras Al Khaimah Theater Team performed a short play on malaria, followed by the honoring of volunteers who participated and supported the ceremony.