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In the presence of HE Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the Emirate, the Department launched the “Poison and Drug Information Service” aimed at preventing and treating poison incidents of all kinds. The service was announced during DoH’s Research and Innovation Centre’s participation in the Middle East and North Africa Clinical Toxicology Conference (MENATOX), held in Abu Dhabi from 11 to 14 January 2023.

Through the launch of this service, the Department’s Research and Innovation Centre (RIC) aims to raise awareness on the safe use of drugs and the necessary procedures to prevent poisoning. As well as outline ways to deal with poisoning cases to limit complication and thus preserve the health and safety of community members. Through this service, the RIC at DoH seeks to strengthen research efforts in the Emirate to further develop the clinical toxicology field and improve healthcare outcomes.  In addition to reducing and eliminating poisoning and overdoses among residents through building clinical, technological, educational and research capabilities in toxicology to provide the highest quality of services related to poisoning.

In the first phase, the RIC will provide guidance services from specially trained professionals in the field of toxicology and overdose management through the 800424 hotline, which is available to community members on weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. The RIC will further explore cooperation between partners in the field to further develop the necessary regulations and policies to ensure the highest levels of chemical safety in Abu Dhabi.

During MENATOX, Dr. Asma Al Mannaei, Executive Director of the Research and Innovation Centre at the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), said: “The Drug and Poison Information Service will offer guidance to our community at large and the healthcare sector in specific on the management of patients with poisonings and drugs overdoses, in accordance with international best practices and standards. Through this service, we aim to expand poison prevention and treatment and reduce the incident of accidental poisoning. Reiterating Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading destination for healthcare, day in and day out we work towards ensuring that the Emirate is equipped with a world-class healthcare ecosystem in accordance with international standards and best practices for the benefit of all members of our community.”

Al Mannaei added: "At DoH, we are committed to continuously providing comprehensive services that meet all the needs of our community. We call on the community members to leverage the services provided and to not hesitate in contacting the hotline if any relevant assistance is needed.”

Dr. Badria Alhatali, President of the Middle East and North Africa Clinical Toxicology Conference, said: “Poison centres around the world have proven their ability to improve the health and safety of members of society by preventing poisoning, promoting the health of the infected, and raising the efficiency of healthcare and public health systems. We are delighted that DoH is launching the drug and poison information service at the conference.”

During the year 2023, the RIC aims to increase the working hours of the hotline service to become around the clock, seven days a week, alongside expanding the scope of services to include providing guidance services to healthcare professionals as a second phase of the project, in addition to collecting and analysing data for planning, scientific research and enhancing efficiency.

Source: Weber Shandwick