ABU DHABI, 7th August, 2023 (WAM) — The Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, a subsidiary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with maternity and children’s hospitals in Abu Dhabi, launched a campaign dedicated to raise community awareness about public health aspects related to the health of pregnant women and children in the emirate.
The initiative, which is part of the “Maternal and Child Health” campaign, reflects the visionary leadership’s commitment to continuous progress and providing the best practices and developments that align with the needs of Emirati women.
Through this programme, the centre aims to improve the health of newborns, mothers, and families in Abu Dhabi by enhancing community health and providing a comprehensive and sustainable healthcare system. The centre also seeks to develop supportive programmes and policies and adopt evidence-based preventive approaches by increasing community awareness of the importance of adopting healthy habits for a healthy pregnancy and the significance of regular check-ups during pregnancy for expectant mothers and routine check-ups for children.
In this context, Dr. Omniyat Al Hajeri, Executive Director of the Community Health Sector, stated, “The health and quality of life of the mother and child are two aspects that cannot be compromised. Both are positively influenced by early healthcare interventions. Interventions in the prenatal and early childhood stages play a crucial role in outcomes throughout life. Increasing evidence indicates that healthcare and nutritional interventions in early life have a significant impact on women’s health in all stages of life.”
The “Maternal and Child Health” programme includes various preventive initiatives and regular screenings dedicated to the health of mothers and children in collaboration with maternity and children’s hospitals in Abu Dhabi. The programme also aims to raise awareness about the importance of preventive screenings and the necessity of attending regular follow-up visits during pregnancy to ensure the health of the mother and child and early detection of any health issues that require necessary interventions.
Newborns in Abu Dhabi undergo mandatory newborn screenings according to the defined health standards set by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre. These screenings include comprehensive physical examinations, genetic heart disease screenings, hearing tests, and heel prick tests, in addition to referral, evaluation, and counseling if any results warrant such measures.
All government and private healthcare facilities involved in childbirth are committed to implementing newborn screening protocols and taking necessary actions while providing early treatment and regular monitoring to avoid physical and mental disabilities and reduce mortality rates. These screenings detect any growth disorders, genetic diseases, or metabolic disorders that may affect the child’s health and enable healthcare specialists to intervene early and take necessary actions before symptoms and problems worsen.
According to reports from the Genetic Testing Laboratory under the Ministry of Health and Community Protection, 36,542 newborns in Abu Dhabi underwent newborn screenings during 2022. 2,458 cases of postnatal diseases with symptoms and signs were discovered, including genetic, metabolic, and blood-related diseases that may impact the child’s long-term growth, health, or even threaten their life.
In addition to screenings, Abu Dhabi offers a comprehensive program to educate and raise awareness among women and families about the importance of comprehensive healthcare for mothers and children. The program focuses on enhancing awareness of the importance of preventive screenings and health counseling during and after pregnancy. It also aims to promote healthy and preventive behaviors, develop public health policies, and enhance best practices in the field of maternal and child health.
This pioneering initiative aims to achieve a healthy and sustainable society, where women are strong and healthy partners, and children grow and thrive in good health. It reflects the committed leadership’s dedication to developing the healthcare sector and improving the quality of healthcare provided in Abu Dhabi.