Dubai: Al Jalila Foundation, celebrating its fourth anniversary, has announced that it has invested Dh59 million and transformed the lives of millions of beneficiaries with innovative medical treatment, research and education programmes.
Founded in 2013 by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Al Jalila Foundation has invested millions in health care programmes in the areas of medical treatment, education and research in the UAE and globally. Relying solely on donor funding, it has reached over 1.6 million beneficiaries of 129 nationalities.
The foundation celebrated four years of operations by publishing the achievements it has made until 2016. On a local level, it provided 55 research grants and six fellowships to advance research into the biggest health challenges in the region, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity and mental health.
In support of efforts to increase the national workforce, Al Jalila Foundation awarded scholarships to 58 Emiratis across a range of medical specialities in the UAE and abroad. Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, underlined the importance of such programmes in the foundation’s 2016 report. “By championing home-grown solutions to overcome tomorrow’s health challenges, we aim to make the UAE the global backbone of medical progress and innovation,” he said.
It also funded life-saving treatment for over 270 patients suffering from cancer, heart disease, limb deformities, hearing disabilities and a range of other chronic illnesses. As part of its programmes, it helped transform the lives of many children through cochlear hearing implants and through prosthetics that restore mobility. It even provided the first 3D printed hand to a young Emirati girl born with a limb abnormality.
Education and awareness programmes tackled the inclusion of people with disabilities into education curricula through the Ta’alouf training programme for parents and teachers. The foundation also partnered with The Carter Centre and has supported two Emirati journalists who were awarded the UAE Rosalynn Carter Journalism Fellowships for Mental Health in its effort to break the silence around mental health.
On a global level, Al Jalila Foundation partnered with Unicef to provide 1.6 million vaccines across 15 countries to treat maternal and neo-natal tetanus, and help 5,625 families across 35 countries get access to clean drinking water and sanitation. In partnership with Sentebale in Lesotho, the foundation helped establish the Mamohato Children’s Centre to support vulnerable children, including orphans, living with HIV and other disabilities.