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Policies On Child Health Must Be Informed By Better Statistics

Better data collection on the causes of child injuries and safety are urgently required to implement appropriate legislation that will ensure a safer environment for children in the region, according to Dr. Ayesha Abdullah, Senior Vice President, Healthcare City, a member of .

Dr. Ayesha Abdullah’s remarks came during a roundtable discussion titled ‘Identifying Research Agenda in the Area of Injury Care and Prevention’, at the 4th Arab Congress (ACHC) at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center.

Held under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the three-day ACHC was themed ‘Accidents and Injuries: Prevention of Injuries Amongst Children’.

Dr. Ayesha Abdullah said: “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. 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, World Health Organization – WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean of Egypt, and Professor Fikri Abu Zidan, the Head of Trauma Group at the Faculty of Medicine and 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 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.

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.

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