‘Proactive action must to address hunger, food scarcity’ - GulfToday

‘Proactive action must to address hunger, food scarcity’


The foundation is a major contributor to addressing global health challenges.

SHARJAH: The Director of The Big Heart Foundation, TBHF, has said that World Health Day is designed to raise awareness about the importance of establishing the right to full universal healthcare for all, especially the poor, needy and refugees, whose care is a priority for TBHF.

Mariam Al Hammadi stressed that TBHF has the unwavering support of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, H.H. Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of TBHF. The Foundation’s humanitarian programmes seek to build and nurture cooperation to lay the foundation for strategies and initiatives aimed at tackling health issues faced by refugees and the poor around the world, she explained.

She added that the delicate situation of the health care sector, and the dire conditions of the poor and the refugees specifically, demand that all stakeholders transform their humanitarian work from temporary projects into sustainable solutions to support the health sector, to provide appropriate continuous health services for the community.

Al Hammadi stressed that the principle of empowerment is more important and beneficial than temporary projects and aid. She stressed that TBHF works towards developing the capabilities of the communities, and not carrying out the work on their behalf.

The TBHF Director noted that the foundation is a major contributor to addressing global health challenges, which is witnessing a significant deterioration in developing countries. According to the World Economic Forum in 2018, six million children die due to the lack of basic health treatments. There is also a shortage of up to six million health workers, with a bleak forecast of rising numbers over the next ten years.

She noted that the adoption of the latest technologies in training health care workers on the skills of first aid and rescue requires a few weeks of training at a small cost of $2,000 per staff member. The director said that the training is considered a sustainable solution, aligned with the TBHF strategy and the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals.

“Proactive action is needed to address the roots and causes of problems such as hunger, contamination of food and water sources, illiteracy and lack of health awareness in some societies. To this day, medical relief teams continue to deploy after deteriorating health conditions occur. This can be pre-empted through data analysis and monitoring of health cases in the early stages, where action plans can be put in place for medical teams to carry and tackle early on,” Al Hammadi continued.

The Director added that aside from emergency relief efforts like food and cadre, TBHF works on sustainable projects to aid those in need. In 2018, the foundation funded a total amount of Dhs47,896,662 to upgrade the main building of the Egyptian National Cancer Institute. They also advanced the services offered at ‘The Big Heart Clinic’ which was launched in 2015 to improve the health conditions of nearly 24,000 Syrian refugees in the Zaatari camp in Jordan, and building a hospital in the city of Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh to serve Rohingya refugees.

Al Hammadi concluded that aside from the right to health – which is a human right in international agreements – the vision of TBHF also aims to avoid any consequences resulting from bad health care and infrastructure in poor communities, due to its devastating impact on humankind, and the sustainable development journey of the world.

Health for all

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention continues to step up its efforts to promote health services towards global competitive levels, living up to the UAE’s reputation, said Dr Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammad Bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, according to WAM.

In a statement marking World Health Day, Dr Al Owais said, “The UAE is joining the world countries in celebration of the World Health Day which falls on 7th April every year. The theme for 2019 is ‘Health for all – everyone, everywhere’.

“In this regard,” the minister added, “the Ministry of Health underlines its commitment to launching health initiatives, programmes, and projects which consolidate the leading position of our health care system, in addition to our integrated and innovative health services in line with the latest medical technologies.”

Providing world-class healthcare is one of the six pillars of the National Agenda in line with Vision 2021. 

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