Sheikh Hamed opens Countdown to Zero: Defeating Disease global exhibition in Abu Dhabi

The exhibition documents the UAE's contributions to disease eradication around the world

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Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed, Chairman of the Crown Prince Court, on Sunday opened Countdown to Zero: Defeating Disease, an exhibition which documents global efforts to eliminate diseases.

Sheikh Hamed toured the exhibition which highlights efforts made to eradicate Guinea worm disease, other debilitating diseases and the UAE’s commitment to disease eradication around the world.

The exhibition was organised by the Crown Prince Court ahead of Global Health Forum Reaching the Last Mile — Mobilising Together to Eliminate Infectious Disease, which will be held in November under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and will be attended by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

"Countdown to Zero tells the story of the remarkable progress that has been achieved in eradicating preventable and debilitating diseases, thanks to the ongoing contributions of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, and other global partners," said Sheikh Hamed.

"The exhibition highlights the need for more global efforts to wipe out diseases which continue to hinder growth, development, and prosperity in nations around the world,” he said.

“Eliminating disease in marginalised communities transforms people’s lives for the better and is an important factor in sustainable economic and social development.”


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The exhibition is organised into five zones: A Simple Privilege invites visitors to 'step inside' the exhibition and the shoes of Guinea worm victims by imagining a world without clean water. The Little Dragon Rises explores a developing world in crisis; a fast-spreading epidemic brought to life through moving stories and a real Guinea worm, according to state news agency Wam.

The Battle for Eradication showcases the fight against Guinea worm disease, and the co-ordinated effort from people all over the world. Visitors learn about people who have committed their life's work to the eradication programme. Our Shared Vision recognises the late Sheikh Zayed and President Carter along with global donors who made the near-eradication of Guinea worm possible. Reaching the Last Mile looks at other preventable diseases being tackled by The Carter Centre and the UAE, including malaria, river blindness, lymphatic filariasis and trachoma. This zone also explores polio through the UAE's Polio Eradication Campaign.

The exhibition is being held in a purpose built dome on Al Maryah Island until November 14. Brunswick
The exhibition is being held in a purpose built dome on Al Maryah Island until November 14. Brunswick

Countdown to Zero was created by the American Museum of National History in collaboration with The Carter Center, a leading not-for-profit organisation with a focus on public health and disease eradication. The expanded exhibition comes to Abu Dhabi following popular residencies in New York, London, and Atlanta.

On Sunday, Sheikh Hamed was accompanied by dignitaries from across the health, culture, and philanthropy sectors, including Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed, Chairman of the Health Authority — Abu Dhabi (Haad), Saif Ghobash, Director General of the Department of Culture & Tourism — Abu Dhabi, Dr Maha Barakat, Director General of Haad, Mohammed Al Khouri, Director General of the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation, as well as Curtis Kohlhaas and Douglas Nelson, from the Carter Center, and Mark Siddall, from the American Museum of Natural History.

  • The free exhibition is open to the public until November 14 in a purpose-built building on Al Maryah Island's Promenade.