As part of Abu Dhabi Public Health Center collaborative efforts to provide the highest levels of health care and maintain the health of Abu Dhabi Emirate community, especially maternal and child health, Abu Dhabi Public Health Center announce activating "Maternal and Child Health" program, which takes place annually in August, in cooperation with 35 maternity and children's hospitals in Abu Dhabi.
The program includes a set of preventive initiatives and periodic checkups related to maternal and child health, in conjunction with maternity and children's hospitals in Abu Dhabi. The program is designed to Improve health and opportunities of women, infants, children, and families through approaches that are preventive, evidence-based, and evaluated by empowering community, especially women and health care specialists, with appropriate education regarding healthy pregnancy and the importance of antennal and newborn screenings.
On the sideline of the event, HE Dr. Omniyat Al Hajiri, Executive Director of Community Health Sector at Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, said: " Promoting women's health and woman empowerment is one of UAE government's national priorities, therefore our wise leadership is actively working on aligning and harmonizing efforts among various strategic partners, to improve community health, direct healthy and preventive behavior, develop public health policies and promote best practices to launch effective evidence-based initiatives to improve the level of services provided for women and children. The annual "Maternal and Child Health" program main focus is to raise awareness regarding healthy pregnancy, antenatal screenings, newborn screenings and well child visits. It emphasizes on the importance of attending periodic screenings on time in order to detect any problem early and provide the needed treatment. Furthermore, women who are healthy before and during their pregnancy have better health outcomes, as their behaviors during pregnancy have a significant impact on the fetus, as malnutrition, smoking, and the use of some medications can hinder and affect the development of the fetus.”
Dr. Mariam Al Wahedi , Acting Director of the Community Health Department at Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, highlighted : “ Maternity and child hospitals in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi has performed Newborn screening for 35,951 in 2021. According to MOHAP reports, the uptake of newborn screening in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi reached 98%, out of which 2810 positive cases were detected. These disorders may affect the mental and physical growth of the child. In some cases, it can lead to death, if not early treated. The program includes series of virtual workshops to build the capacity of healthcare providers to promote newborn screening program and to emphasize on the importance of complying with the issued standards.
Newborn Screening program is done in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in four ways: physical examination, hearing screening and screening for critical congenital heart disease and heel prick test (a major test to detect developmental, genetic, and metabolic disorders in the newborn baby). This allows steps to be taken before symptoms develop. Most of these illnesses are very rare, but with early detection, diagnosis, and treatment we can improve the outcomes and save live