The United Arab Emirates is ranked among the wealthiest countries in the world as is clear from its GDP and average incomes of its citizens. In fact, the high level of economic development provides citizens in the country with access to new medical technologies and methods of treatment. Nevertheless, there are still some diseases that pose a significant threat to people in the United Arab Emirates.
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Speaking about the most dangerous diseases that are currently affecting people in the United Arab Emirates, it is necessary to pay attention to cardiovascular diseases that affect the key organ of the human body – the heart. Numerous researchers confirm that cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of death in the United Arab Emirates. For instance, one in four deaths in the country was caused by cardiovascular disease in 2010 (Loney et al. 2013, p. 1).
Nowadays, various forms of cardiovascular disease cause almost one-third of deaths in the country. Another condition that is responsible for more than one-tenth of deaths in the United Arab Emirates is presented by different types of cancer (Loney et al. 2013, p. 1). The United Arab Emirates is not unique in terms of the leading causes of death as the authorities of other countries also report increased rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The health authorities of the United Arab Emirates have made a range of decisions to reduce the incidence of these diseases. Speaking about the measures aimed at reducing the number of cancer cases in the country, it is pivotal to note that a substantial cancer control and prevention plan has been developed in Abu Dhabi. Among the key strategies that are expected to reduce cancer incidence rates, there is the creation of a national cancer registry in Abu Dhabi that helps to keep track of new cases and define the most common types of cancer to improve cancer screening measures.
Apart from the establishment of the registry, the authorities have launched a few promotion initiatives that are to encourage more people in the United Arab Emirates to undergo necessary examination and increase the awareness of the key symptoms of cancer. The early detection of cancer of different types is promoted. For instance, Zulekha Healthcare Group provides women with an opportunity to get free mammograms until the end of this year. Within the frame of the 2021National Health Strategy, the country is planning to reduce the cases of cancer, allocating more financial resources to conduct research and develop more effective treatment methods (oral immunotherapy medicaments) and vaccines.
To reduce the incidence of different forms of cardiovascular disease, healthcare organizations in the country collaborate with non-profit medical societies in the United States. This year, a program aimed at reducing the incidence of the disease was launched in the United Arab Emirates; it includes providing additional education to surgeons and cardiologists from different emirates. The program is expected to encourage the exchange of best practices with specialists from the United States.
In addition, focused attention is paid to increasing the awareness of cardiovascular disease and associated risk factors among different social groups in the United Arab Emirates. For instance, a communication campaign was launched by DHA three years ago (Dubai Health Authority launches World Heart Day campaign 2014). As for the key goals of the campaign under consideration, it was aimed at attracting people’s attention to habits and behaviors that increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Within the frame of the event, people were provided with an opportunity to test blood sugar for free and check their body-mass index.
Loney, T, Aw, TC, Handysides, DG, Ali, R, Blair, I, Grivna, M & El-Obaid, Y 2013, ‘An analysis of the health status of the United Arab Emirates: the ‘Big 4’public health issues’, Global Health Action, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1-8.