Under the theme “Zero Malaria Starts with Me”, the Ministry of Health and Prevention organized recently an event at Radisson Blu Resort, Sharjah, to shed light on the UAE’s effective strategy to prevent and control the spread of communicable diseases in the society.
The event was held in conjunction with the World Malaria Day, which falls on 25 April, and on the twelfth anniversary of declaring the UAE is free of malaria, according to “WHO”.
Held under the presence of H.E. Dr. Hussein Abdel-Rahman Al-Rand, Undersecretary of the Ministry’s Health Assistant Sector, Health Centers and Clinics, 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.
No Malaria Cases Since 1997
At the outset of the event, the sponsors, who effectively contributed to bolstering MoHAP’s efforts to eradicate malaria, have been honored.
Then, Dr. Hussein Al Rand gave a speech, in which, he commended the UAE’s accomplishment as one of the first countries in Eastern Mediterranean Region to be officially declared free of malaria in accordance with WHO.
“The UAE has been declared a malaria-free country since 2007, considering that no malaria cases have been recorded since 1997,” said Al Rand.
He pointed to the efforts exerted by MoHAP and various health authorities to prevent the prevalence of malaria. Al Rand added: “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.”
“World Malaria Day is an occasion to highlight the need to pursue efforts and increase the commitment to the prevention and control of the disease as well as raise awareness among individuals on avoiding the infection,” said Al Rand.
He explained that the WHO’s African Region is suffering under the burden of almost 90% of the global malaria burden. The matter that causes severe damage to the health systems and reduces productivity, as well as undermines Africa’s economic growth.
Dr. Al Rand said that MoHAP pays great attention to upgrade Travel Health Clinics to include 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 malaria-endemic countries.
Eng. Mohamed Al Marzouki, Director of Pest Control Projects Department at Tadweer, spoke about the expertise of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in managing disease vector and the latest developments in monitoring and combatting mosquito.
While Dr. Nabil Al Marhoumi, Public Health Consultant, MoHAP, tackled the importance of keeping the UAE as a malaria-free country, as well as the challenges and opportunities confronting this matter.
Dr. Ahmed Lotfy Sobhy, Communicable Diseases Consultant, Al Qassimi Hospital, showcased the recent developments and new prospects for malaria diagnosis and vaccines.
For his part, Prof. Norbert Nowotny, Professor of Virology, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, highlighted mosquito-borne diseases.
While Dr. Ahmed Hegazy, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Al Qassimi Hospital, revealed the latest developments of antimalarial drug resistance and treatment methods.