Initiative to strengthen database, support planning strategies & health policies
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) held today (October 25, 2017) a press conference to announce the launching of the national health survey campaign endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to update the population health database, measure health performance indicators and support national health planning and policy strategies to achieve the objectives of the 2021 National Agenda and the overall development goals for 2030.
H.E. Dr. Hussein Abdel-Rahman Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Clinics and Centers; Alya Zaid Harbi, Director of the Statistics and Research Center; and representatives from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, Dubai Health Authority, Department of Health – Abu Dhabi and Statistics Centre − Abu Dhabi, Dubai Statistics Center, attended the press conference held at the Ministry's office in Dubai.
Dr. Rand said that the National Health Survey aims to strengthen the country’s health database by collecting reliable field data on the health situation in the UAE, which will help them to develop policies and strategies to improve the quality of healthcare services based on key health indicators. This follows the strategic goals of the National Agenda, which aims to develop health information systems and apply global standards in the management of the infrastructure of health facilities.
Dr. Rand added that MOHAP, in cooperation with relevant authorities in the UAE, aims to develop quality and safety systems for treatment, health and medicine following international standards based on statistical facts and analytical tools. These, he pointed out, will aid in decision making and the adoption of appropriate health policies consistent with the global health system as well as the achievement of targets set in UAE Vision 2021.
He further explained that the health survey will cover many national indicators on sustainable health, particularly on people's behavior and health habits, community health and risk factors, indicators of healthcare use, individual and family spending on health, environmental health, and personal health vital signs.
Alya Zaid Harbi, Director of the Statistics and Research Center, explained that the health survey will adopt a health statistics methodology following the highest international standards in statistics and health strategies such as providing nationwide health services, reducing mortality and morbidity, providing support services that improve life expectancy, and reducing the risk factors and burden of non-communicable diseases.
It will also help in studying some indicators related to health economics such as the rate of individual expenditure on health, improve MOHAP’s database, and strengthen competitiveness indicators of the UAE.
Harbi noted that the scope of the health survey covers specific groups within the community such as adults 18 years and above, married women, children under the age of five, and the elderly aged 60 and above. The samples were randomly selected by experts from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority and comprise 40 per cent citizens and 60 per cent residents from 10,000 families in all seven emirates. The duration of the field work for the survey is six months.
She said the health survey would include data collection and blood tests on Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG), HbA1c, blood lipids, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, hemoglobin levels, blood pressure, height, weight and waist. Regarding the duration of the health survey, she said that planning and preparations, setting up the survey tool and training technicians and researchers began in 2016. The experimental phase was initiated in 2017 and field work will start in 2017 towards final report submission in 2018.
Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DHAD)
Dr. Omniyat Al Hajri, Director of Public Health in Department of Health- Abu Dhabi, said, “The aim of the National Health Survey is to primarily enhance the health and protection of UAE society—utilizing it as a key tool that effectively works to determine key realities and issues in terms of population in the UAE, identifying health needs and work to provide them with suitable alternatives. The survey is also seen as an efficient tool to collect field information that can also help in recommending and implementing appropriate solutions, as well as support planning strategies and health policies at the state level. In line with this, we call on everyone in the UAE community to participate in the national health survey, which will create a positive impact on the development of health care services and help raise the quality of life for all members of society in the country.”
Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA)
The statistics team at the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) worked closely with the Ministry of Health and Prevention team, and placed all FCSA’s technical and field expertise in methodology, sample and survey design at the service of the Health Survey Team.
Mohammed Ahli, Executive Director of the Statistics and Data Sector said:” First, I would like to thank you the Ministry of Health Team on initiating this strategic project, it has can help to enrich the nation’s knowledge base with accurate health data and statistics, that help in the support of decision making, and elevate the level of healthcare services to make the UAE one of the healthiest societies in the world, in accordance to UAE vision 2021.
I would also like to call out on all the families that will be participating in this survey to cooperate and support the field surveyors, as this project is designed to help families and UAE sociality as a whole. UAE’s society support for this project reflects the level of societal awareness we have in the UAE on the importance of providing accurate data. This data will form a solid knowledge base that helps drive more effective policies in the healthcare sector, and support the country’s drive to provide prosperity and happiness to our people.”
Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD)
Mr. Ahmed Al Shaiba Al Sheryani, Executive Director of the Data Sector at Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) said that one of the key strategies of SCAD is reflected in its deep belief in the importance of partnership between federal and local government agencies in optimizing the national statistical system to serve decision makers, through the provision of an extensive and accurate database that supports priority setting for the national strategy.
Al-Sheryani said he and the project team are greatly pleased that Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) is part of the National Health Survey Project, which seeks to collect field information on the health situation in the country, in order to update and upgrade the population health database, measure health performance indicators and support health planning and strategies in the endeavor to achieve the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda, which aims to place the UAE among the world’s top countries in terms of human, social and economic development.
He further added "SCAD will dedicate all necessary resources, capabilities and efforts necessary to ensure the successful implementation of this national survey”. He praised the role of the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Federal Authority for Competitiveness and Statistics, the Health Department - Abu Dhabi and the local statistical centres for their outstanding efforts in finalizing the preparatory stages, their contribution to the planning and scheduling of the survey, and their commitment to the completion of the project as planned”.
MOHAP has distributed identification cards to members of the local health survey team for residents to easily identify them and avoid confusion. All the stages of the survey will be clarified throughout the visits of the survey team, through the media, and the Ministry's website. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or answered directly by calling 80011111.
The Ministry urges all families that were carefully selected in the survey to cooperate and facilitate the work of the local teams by filling out electronic questionnaires to ensure accurate statistical data that will update the results of national health indicators and contribute to the formulation of health policies in the country for the coming decades.