World Health Day: President Sheikh Mohamed says UAE to focus on providing best care

Country will contribute to disease eradication efforts around the world

President Sheikh Mohamed says the UAE will continue to make a telling contribution to the eradication of diseases worldwide. Photo: UAE Presidential Court
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President Sheikh Mohamed said the UAE's focus is on developing and strengthening its health care system to provide the best care in the world.

In a message on World Health Day, he said the country will continue to invest in research and innovation to eradicate preventable diseases in the UAE and around the world.

"On World Health Day, we renew our commitment to strengthening health care systems and preserving the well-being and dignity of people in the UAE and around the world," the President wrote on X.

"Through fostering local and international partnerships, continued investment in research and innovation, and intensified efforts to eradicate preventable diseases, we aim to contribute to improved health for all."

This year's World Health Day is themed My Health, My Right, which calls on nations to enact laws that ensure access to health services.

The UAE, in particular, has been at the forefront of eradicating tropical diseases.

Since 2010, the UAE has donated more than a quarter of a billion dollars in the fight against preventable tropical diseases such as Guinea worm.

It is a supporter of the Carter Centre, an organisation founded by Jimmy Carter, the former US president, that fights tropical diseases.

At the beginning of 2021, Sheikh Mohamed pledged to give $10 million to the centre to mark the 30th anniversary of its partnership with the UAE.

One of Sheikh Mohamed's biggest contributions to combating tropical diseases was setting up the Reaching the Last Mile Fund in 2017. The decade-long, $100 million initiative seeks to eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in African countries.

In December last year, during the Cop28 climate summit held in Dubai, the fund joined forces with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to announce a milestone expansion of the Reaching the Last Mile Fund to $500 million to eliminate two neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) from Africa.

The UAE committed a further $100 million to the fund created to fight the diseases of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, that causes painful swelling of limbs. This was matched by the Gates Foundation, with hundreds of millions more from donor nations.

In total, donors pledged more than $777 million to defeat NTDs and improve the lives of 1.6 billion people.

Updated: April 07, 2024, 8:24 AM