Abu Dhabi: The Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and two top global research-driven pharmaceutical firms will today sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) as part of efforts to combat cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and as part of the official launch of HAAD's innovative forum.

The innovative forum, a collection of initiatives and partnerships with a broad range of academic, non-governmental organisations and private sector entities, will help curb the growing burden of chronic diseases in the emirate, Dr Oliver Harrison, director of Public Health and Policy, said during the HAAD launch on Monday.

The MoU, which seeks to help reduce the risk factors related to cardiovascular diseases, will be signed on Tuesday— during the final day of the World Health Care Congress Middle East (WHCC-ME).

It will be signed by HAA, Astra-Zeneca of the United Kingdom and Eli Lilly from of United States.

Data sharing exercise

Through HAAD's Weqaya (protection) initiative, which has helped provide cardiovascular screenings for 90 per cent of Emiratis between the ages of 18-75 in Abu Dhabi for Dh200 per individual, available core data regarding Emirati individuals will be shared with other parties in efforts to help combat the spread of cardiovascular diseases.

"With collaborative innovation and partnerships, HAAD can create a healthier community and develop innovative solutions to help protect the community from a wide range of chronic, acute and communicable diseases," Harrison said.

"We started off with top priority diseases such as CVD and diabetes, and intend on approaching a range of other conditions such as respiratory diseases."

"HAAD recognises the breadth and depth of the challenge and solutions required to meet challenges," Harrison told Gulf News on the sidelines of the forum.

Best solutions

"The use of western evidence-based medication will help reduce [cardiovascular] risk. Our two new pharmaceutical partners will be analysing the data we have collected through our Weqaya programme and [will] offer the best possible curative solutions."

When asked whether a similar prevention programme will be offered to expatriates across the emirate, Harrison said: "In addition to clinical-patient-support, HAAD is reviewing cost-effective options on how to screen expatriates with CVD risks, assess its burden, and make available a range of interventions for them."

Statistics: information on Emiratis

  • 71 per cent of adult Emiratis have at least a major risk factor of cardiovascular disease
  • 20 per cent have diabetes
  • 36 per cent are obese
  • 34 per cent are overweight

Source: HAAD