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MoHAP officially launches national seasonal influenza awareness campaign

DUBAI, 19th September, 2023 (WAM) — The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has officially launched the annual national seasonal influenza awareness campaign under the theme, “Protect Yourself… Protect Your Community”.

The campaign seeks to achieve a set of objectives, which include bolstering health consciousness throughout society and promoting the critical importance of seasonal influenza vaccination. It also aims to impart knowledge to healthcare professionals regarding international best practices for influenza prevention, and ensure vaccines are readily accessible to target demographics while boosting vaccination rates.

The initiative was unveiled at a press conference held by MoHAP in Dubai, in the presence of Mattar Saeed Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, and Dr. Farida Al Hosani, Executive Director of Infectious Diseases at the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre. Also present were Dr. Nada Al Marzouqi, Director of the Department of Public Health and Prevention at MoHAP, Dr. Shamsa Lootah, Director of Public Health Services Department at Emirates Health Services (EHS) and Dr. Hend Al Awadhi, Head of Health Promotion at Dubai Health Authority (DHA). This is in addition to representatives from numerous media outlets and private health sector representatives.

The campaign targets a broad spectrum of society, with top priority given to pregnant women, individuals aged 50 and above, those with chronic medical conditions, children under 5 years old, and healthcare workers. To ensure widespread awareness, the initiative will be promoted through various channels, including social media platforms, newspapers, websites, television, and radio. Furthermore, visual awareness content will be distributed through television channels and news websites to reinforce the campaign's message.

Universal health coverage

Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Public Health Sector, MoHAP, stressed the importance of the campaign, stating that not only does it serve to advance the UAE’s health system's responsiveness to respiratory diseases, but it also strengthens the vital surveillance mechanisms in place.

"Our concerted efforts seeking to enhance awareness and promote vaccination are not just measures but a testament to our commitment to nurturing a more sustainable, healthy society.

Aligning with the Ministry's forward-looking strategy, we are keen to improve public health standards and foster a community deeply ingrained with awareness and a firm commitment to preventive health protocols. Through well-thought-out community health campaigns, we envision a nation marked by a superior quality of health and vitality. Together, we embark on this promising path, shaping a future where the well-being of every citizen is not just a priority but a reality," Al Rand added.

He noted that the campaign's success will be even greater as national efforts and collaboration increase within the national health system to implement the national immunisation policy. This policy has become a national framework for combating communicable diseases, including seasonal influenza, helping minimise their adverse impacts on individuals and the community at large.

He urged the community to back the government's national initiatives by committing to vaccination and adopting appropriate preventive practices, curbing the proliferation of seasonal influenza, thus enhancing the community's overall preventive health.

"United, we stand in our efforts to reinforce the national health system, carefully implementing our national immunisation policy, which stands as a beacon in the fight against communicable diseases, including seasonal influenza," Al Rand added.

"It is with unyielding determination and confidence that we strive to protect the health of our community members from various ailments. I call upon each community member to play their part in this national endeavour by receiving the vaccine and adopting healthy habits to curtail the spread of seasonal influenza, thereby uplifting the collective health and well-being of our community," he further said.

Effective vaccinations

For her part, Meanwhile, Dr. Farida Al Hosany, Executive Director of the Infectious Disease Sector at Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, stated, "At the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC), we ensure the adoption of proactive measures that seek to preserve the health and safety of members of our community and protect them from infectious diseases, including seasonal influenza. Today, we are pleased to be part of the national efforts as permanent strategic partners and participate in the endeavours aimed at raising awareness of seasonal influenza and the importance of vaccination. This aligns with our commitment to establishing a culture where prevention is considered the best medicine.”

She added, "We collaborate with our partners to ensure the availability of the vaccine to all target groups while conducting awareness campaigns targeting individuals and healthcare professionals. We call on members of our community to support these efforts by receiving the seasonal influenza vaccine as soon as possible as it takes up to two weeks for the body to build sufficient immunity for protection against the disease."

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Hamriyah and Deira ports record AED 12.133b in customs declaration value for first nine months of 2023

Dubai Customs plays a crucial role as the frontline defense for community security, consistently advancing its customs centers to safeguard and facilitate maritime trade. H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of
Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, recently visited Creek Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center to evaluate progress and oversee ongoing efforts for continuous customs service development. During this visit, several executive directors, department heads, and customs center managers were present.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, accompanied by Rashid Al Dhabah Al Suwaidi, Acting Director of Seae Customs Centers Management, conducted inspections at Khor Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center. Managers Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al Salman and Majid Salem Al Tawilah provided insights into workflow progress and accomplishments. Over the first nine months of this year, 62,454 customs declarations were processed, totaling AED 12.133 billion, with 19 seizures recorded during the same period. A visit to Hamriyah Port Customs Center showcased an advanced container X-ray inspection device, supporting increased inspection operations.

Subsequently, visits to Khor Customs Center and Deira Port highlighted achievements, including a notable seizure called the “Wheelhouse,” which successfully prevented an attempt to smuggle 243 kilograms of narcotics into the country. Commending customs employees, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih emphasized the pivotal role of maritime customs centers in ensuring community security and facilitating trade. The department collaborates for efficient goods clearance and acknowledges employee efforts
during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the department’s support for global efforts to revive maritime navigation and international trade.

Musabih clarified that the department’s advanced capabilities in monitoring and inspection enable it to keep pace with the UAE’s rapid foreign trade growth. Supporting Dubai’s economic agenda D33, the department aims to double foreign trade and enhance economic partnerships with key global markets. Efforts to boost customs inspector efficiency continue through training courses, ensuring their ability to thwart smuggling attempts. Continuous development of X-ray scanning
devices and the K9 customs dog unit further enhances contraband control achievements. Rasheed Al-Dabah explained that the forthcoming period will witness the advancement of new initiatives and mechanisms in the realm of inspection and examination. These initiatives are grounded in a forward-looking perspective to introduce cutting-edge technologies utilized in examining maritime transport vessels, wooden ships, and ships engaged in fish trade.

He remarked, “Our endeavors are harmonized to enhance performance in sea customs centers, concurrently focusing on bolstering monitoring, tracking, and technical support activities to yield optimal outcomes through continuous and productive collaboration among all specialized teams within the department. The Customs centers in Deira, Al Khor, and
Hamriyah Port Customs Center shoulder their vital responsibilities in safeguarding society and facilitating maritime trade through Dubai Creek and Hamriyah Port, supporting the ongoing growth of the national economy.”

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Dubai Customs Hosts Sharjah Housing Delegation to Strengthen Government Communication Ties

Dubai Customs, represented by the Corporate Communication Department, warmly welcomed a delegation from the Sharjah Housing Department. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize the delegation with the duties and responsibilities of the
Corporate Communication Department and its affiliated divisions. The delegation also aimed to explore the awards received by the department, notably the recognition as the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award for 2023.

Khalil Saqer bin Gharib, Director of Corporate Communication Department, along with department managers, extended a cordial reception to the Sharjah Housing delegation, which included Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication, Nada Sivan, Head of the Public Relations and Events Department, and Hamad Saleh Al Hamadi, Head of
the New Media Department. Bin Gharib highlighted the department’s commitment to strengthening communication with government entities to exchange practical experiences and knowledge. The delegation was briefed on Dubai Customs exceptional performance in customs operations and other facets.

The meeting delved into discussions on potential avenues for collaboration, with the Sharjah Housing delegation. Emphasis was placed on the crucial role played by Dubai Customs’ Corporate Communication Department, customs administrations, and centers in ensuring security and safeguarding society. The delegation was presented with an overview of the department’s working mechanisms, awareness campaigns, events, and activities conducted internally and externally, aligning with Dubai Customs esteemed reputation.

Furthermore, the Sharjah Housing delegation acquired an understanding of the best media practices adopted by the Corporate Communication Department, showcasing its outstanding performance in enhancing knowledge and media dissemination to all partners. This has resulted in the department establishing and fortifying relationships with local and international media
entities. The presentation also encompassed the factors contributing to the department’s receipt of the award for the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award.

Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication at Sharjah Housing, expressed appreciation for the efforts of Dubai Customs Corporate Communication Department, acknowledging its excellence and significant contribution to enhancing the department’s standing. Dr. Al Nuaimi affirmed Sharjah Housing’s commitment to fostering ongoing visits and meetings with Dubai Customs, aiming to achieve the highest level of coordination and benefit from the Corporate Communication Departmen’s experience in securing numerous local and international awards.

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Zayed Sustainability Prize opens submissions for 2025 cycle

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global sustainability and humanitarian award, has officially announced that the 2025 cycle is now open for submissions.  Submissions will be accepted until 23 June 2024 through the Prize’s online portal. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs), nonprofit organisations (NPOs) and high schools with sustainable solutions are invited to submit an entry for consideration in one of the six categories of Heath, Food, Energy, Water, Climate Action and Global High Schools. Commenting on the launch of the 2025 submissions cycle, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, and COP28 President, said: “Since 2008, the
Zayed Sustainability Prize has honoured the legacy of Sheikh Zayed by fostering inclusive sustainable and humanitarian development around the world. In this decisive decade for climate change, these values are more important than ever. I am optimistic that the Prize will contribute to global climate action in line with the UAE Consensus, which will pave the
way toward an effective response to the Global Stocktake decision.” In response to the pressing climate crisis, and to further support the UAE’s efforts to accelerate practical solutions needed to drive climate action and uplift vulnerable communities around the world, the Prize has increased its funds from US $3.6 million to US $5.9 million. The Prize will reward US $1 million to each winner in the organisational categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action. Within the Global High Schools category, which is split into six world regions, each school can claim up to US $150,000 to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub- Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and Pacific. The most recent Zayed Sustainability Prize winners were recognised at an Awards Ceremony held during COP28 UAE. To encourage a broader range of organisations and high schools to participate, the Prize will be accepting submissions in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. This will ensure that innovative solutions from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds can be recognised. For the Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action categories, organisations should prove that they are improving access to essential products or services in their targeted communities and are able to implement a long-term vision for better living and working conditions. For the Global High Schools category, projects should be led by students, and must demonstrate innovative approaches to address sustainability challenges. The evaluation of each submission to the Prize consists of a rigorous, three-stage process. First, due diligence is conducted on all submissions to ensure that they meet the Prize’s evaluation criteria of Impact, Innovation, and Inspiration. This identifies the qualified entries and results in the selection of eligible candidates. Following this, evaluations are undertaken by a Selection Committee consisting of category-specific panels of independent international experts. From this shortlist of candidates, the finalists are chosen and then sent to the Prize Jury who unanimously elect the winners across all six categories.   Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at an Awards Ceremony during the 2025 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

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