The Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, a subsidiary of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, has partnered with maternity and children’s hospitals in the emirate to kickstart an awareness campaign dedicated to promoting public health aspects pertaining to the well-being of pregnant women and children.
This far-reaching initiative, constituting a vital segment of the “Maternal and Child Health” campaign, stands as a testament to the visionary leadership’s unwavering commitment to ongoing advancement and the provision of cutting-edge practices and advancements that resonate with the needs of Emirati women.
Through this comprehensive endeavor, the center sets its sights on enhancing the health of newborns, mothers, and families across Abu Dhabi by bolstering community health and establishing a holistic and sustainable healthcare framework. The initiative also strives to craft supportive policies and programs while embracing evidence-based preventative approaches, all the while bolstering community awareness regarding the imperative of embracing healthy habits for a robust pregnancy and the significance of routine prenatal check-ups for expectant mothers, as well as regular screenings for children.
Dr. Omniyat Al Hajeri, Executive Director of the Community Health Sector, underscored, “Both the health and quality of life of mothers and children are non-negotiable facets. Early healthcare interventions have a positive impact on both. Prenatal and early childhood interventions play a pivotal role in lifelong outcomes. Growing evidence highlights the profound influence of healthcare and nutritional interventions in the early stages of life on women’s well-being across all life stages.”
The “Maternal and Child Health” program encompasses an array of preventative initiatives and periodic screenings tailored to the well-being of mothers and children, undertaken in close collaboration with maternity and children’s hospitals across Abu Dhabi. The program is further designed to heighten awareness about the importance of preventive screenings and the criticality of adhering to regular follow-up visits during pregnancy, thereby safeguarding the health of both mother and child and ensuring early detection of any potential health concerns necessitating timely interventions.
Mandatory newborn screenings are conducted on newborns in Abu Dhabi according to stipulated health standards endorsed by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre. These screenings encompass exhaustive physical examinations, genetic heart ailment screenings, auditory tests, heel prick tests, and include referrals, evaluations, and guidance should test results warrant such actions.
In a concerted effort, all governmental and private healthcare facilities specializing in childbirth are steadfast in implementing newborn screening protocols, ensuring prompt action and proactive monitoring. The overarching goal is to thwart the onset of physical and cognitive impairments and curtail mortality rates. These screenings are pivotal in detecting growth anomalies, genetic ailments, and metabolic disorders that might impact the child’s overall health, thereby facilitating early intervention and necessary measures before symptoms exacerbate.
As indicated by the Genetic Testing Laboratory under the Ministry of Health and Community Protection, a total of 36,542 newborns in Abu Dhabi underwent mandatory newborn screenings throughout 2022. This process unearthed 2,458 instances of postnatal ailments marked by symptoms and signs, inclusive of genetic, metabolic, and hematological conditions that may have long-term implications on a child’s health and overall growth trajectory.
Beyond screenings, Abu Dhabi is at the forefront of an exhaustive program designed to enlighten and educate women and families regarding the pivotal significance of comprehensive healthcare for mothers and children. This educational initiative places emphasis on heightening awareness of preventative screenings and health counseling during and post-pregnancy. It is designed to propagate health-conscious and preventative behaviors, foster public health policies, and refine best practices within the domain of maternal and child health.
This pioneering initiative rests on a bedrock of aspirations, seeking to establish a flourishing and sustainable society where women are robust and vital partners, while children flourish and prosper in the realm of good health. The endeavor serves as a testament to dedicated leadership’s relentless commitment to nurturing the healthcare sector and amplifying the quality of healthcare provisions across Abu Dhabi.