Better statistics 'crucial for child health policy'
Dubai, March 29, 2010
Better data collection on the causes of child injuries and safety are key to implement appropriate legislation that will ensure a safer environment for children in the region, said a Dubai healthcare expert.
“In order to create policies that can really make an impact on child health, we need to analyze trend data over a long period of time – and currently, there is a knowledge gap in the region as far as statistical collection and analysis is concerned, said Dr Ayesha Abdullah, senior vice president, Dubai Healthcare City, a member of Tecom Investments.
Dr Abdullah’s remarks came during a roundtable discussion titled ‘Identifying Research Agenda in the Area of Injury Care and Prevention’, at the recently held 'Arab Children Health Congress (ACHC)' in Dubai.
The congress was held under the patronage of Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The three-day event was themed ‘Accidents and Injuries: Prevention of Injuries Amongst Children’.
Dr Abdullah said, "As well as understanding the incidence of diseases amongst children, we also need to understand the level of investment being made in preventative versus curative care. This congress is a welcome opportunity to share ideas with colleagues who can shape research and policy in this area and I hope the discussion today will translate into some concrete actions that will improve the long-term health of our children.”
The round table session was moderated by Dr Haifa Madi, director of Health Protection and Promotion, WHO regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean of Egypt, and Prof Fikri Abu Zidan, the head of Trauma Group at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in the UAE University.
A number of other high-profile organizations participated, including from Unicef and the UN.
Child and family health are a core specialty offered at Dubai Healthcare City with physicians and healthcare professionals providing expertise in the full range of child health issues from nutrition, diabetes and allergies to special needs such as learning disabilities and autism, Dr Abdullah said.
Other topics discussed at the ACHC included road safety, emergency response, psychological trauma and child counseling as well as Arab strategies and interventions and the role of families, the education system, legal system and media in improving child health.-TradeArabia News Service