The second meeting of the Wellbeing Council was held remotely to highlight the health sector's efforts during the recovery phase of the pandemic to promote the wellbeing of individuals as well as the measures to combat the pandemic and the recovery capacity and return to normal life.

This was reviewed by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and its post pandemic strategy in accordance with the objectives of the National Wellbeing Strategy 2031.

The meeting was chaired by Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, and Chairwoman of the Wellbeing Council, with the participation of council members from federal and local authorities and executive councils all over the UAE.

The meeting was attended by Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary of Public Health Sector representing the Ministry of Health and Prevention, while Dr. Aisha Al Muhairi, Director of Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Office at the Ministry reviewed the features of healthy wellbeing during recovery phase of COVID-19 pandemic, based on the statement of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, "Wellbeing is a priority in our day-to-day work and is on the top of the government's priorities. We want our society to be the most cohesive, healthiest and happiest." The meeting focused on the UAE's global leadership in total vaccine doses and the proportion of vaccine recipients divided by population, these are explicit indicators of controlling the epidemiological situation, and the affirmation of public health as a government priority for wellbeing all over the UAE.

Dr. Aisha Al Muhairi emphasised that the UAE is one of the first countries to take proactive measures in managing COVID-19 pandemic. The plans, initiatives and activities carried out by MoHAP demonstrated an active and proactive role played by the UAE in accordance with the leadership directives to take all possible measures and maintain a healthy wellbeing of individuals and UAE society at large.

She also noted that promoting wellbeing during the recovery phase of the pandemic starting with the control of the epidemic situation foresaw the launch of several initiatives by MoHAP in partnership with relevant federal ministries and government authorities including conducting proactive tests to detect COVID-19 easily for all the members of the society free of charge making the UAE first in the world in the rate of proportional tests carried out as per the population. Additionally, the capacity of examination centres in all health authorities all over the UAE has been expanded to fulfill the testing procedures for everyone in addition to the launch of the national home screening programme for UAE citizens and residents’ people of determination as well as a trained medical team to visit and give them their COVID-19 examinations at home.

Al Muhairi revealed that the UAE made great achievements in controlling the epidemic situation and combating COVID-19 pandemic as it leads the global vaccine rate per 100 people in countries with a population of more than 1 million people; it is also the first in the world among the highest-rate countries to receive the vaccine first dose of the total population number and in terms of the percentage of the population who have been fully vaccinated. It also ranked fifth in the world with the lowest COVID-19 related mortality rate.

Through the focus of enhancing recovery capacities and continuing health work and services, MoHAP has been keen to establish recovery on a phased scientific approach based on an assessment of response activities and taken health measures and based on demographics, health needs and local prevalence rates. This is in accordance with a range of measures, including COVID-19 geographical distribution, the level of the disease local transmission in each region, existence of sufficient available capabilities and resources such as the availability of personal protective equipments, medicines and laboratory capabilities, infection control and the presence of high-level safety protocols to ensure the protection of staff and patients and reduce the number of cases among them, as well as awareness and ongoing health education in addition to strengthening supply chains and providing strategic stock of medicines and medical supplies.

At the level of school health initiatives, the Health Nutrition Programme, Healthy Physical Activity Stimulation Programme for School Students, School Health Education Initiative and Preventive Re-School Procedures have been launched. About 380 school health care officials and nurses have been trained in addition to the initiative of promoting mental health for school students including 46 trainers and 964 health and education staff.

As part of the continued vaccination services in schools and despite pandemic conditions, pressure on health staff, and students staying at home, vaccination campaigns were conducted during the summer period in July and August 2020, targeting students and parents who were invited on school dates to take vaccinations with all precautionary measures with an excellent coverage rate of 93.4%.

Finally, Dr. Aisha Al Muhairi spoke about the post-pandemic strategy such as the establishment of the Health Wellbeing Office at the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the formation of the National Committee for Health Wellbeing as well as the adoption of initiatives that are consistent with the Wellbeing Strategy 2031, these strengthen the results of health wellbeing indicators depending on the National Survey of Physical and Mental Wellbeing.


© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.