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Sheikha Hessa bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan. Image Credit: Afra Al Nofeli /Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, the 2nd International Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Congress has commenced in Abu Dhabi. The three-day conference, being organised by Burjeel Holdings and hosted at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi, has brought together over 1,000 healthcare professionals from more than 20 countries.

Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, in the official inauguration address delivered on her behalf by Sheikha Hessa Bint Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, said, “Abu Dhabi is proud to hold the second International Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Congress. In this congress, it gives me great pleasure to celebrate the contributions of nurses, midwives, and allied health professionals. We are proud of the efforts of our healthcare institutions, including Burjeel Holdings, which works to enhance the capabilities of its staff, alongside other professionals, to align with the ambitions and aspirations of the UAE.”

The opening ceremony of the 2nd International Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Congress in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Afra Al Nofeli /Gulf News

She lauded the contributions of Emirati nurses in serving the nation, “This is all thanks to the tremendous and unlimited support provided by our visionary leadership, led by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, and his brothers, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President of the UAE, Prime Minister of the UAE, and the Ruler of Dubai, as well as His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and their fellow members of the Supreme Council of the UAE Rulers. By the grace of Allah and thanks to the dedicated support of our wise leadership, Emirati nurses have excelled in their profession, becoming successful role models on local, regional, and global levels.”

She concluded her speech by expressing gratitude to the organisers for promoting best professional practices, fostering a commitment to ongoing research, learning, teaching, sharing experiences and knowledge, and dedicating efforts to address the needs of the nation.

Conveying his gratitude to Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, for her patronage of the Congress, Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Founder and Chairman of Burjeel Holdings, said: “The patronage is truly an honour for not only for the healthcare community in the UAE, but all of us. As a growing recognition of the value of nursing leadership, nurses are increasingly taking on leadership roles in hospitals around the world, and in Burjeel Holdings. They are well-positioned to lead in healthcare settings because they have a deep understanding of patient care and the healthcare delivery system.”

Dr. Aysha Al Mahri, Congress President, and Deputy CEO of Burjeel Medical City, added: “The conference comprises 12 scientific tracks focused on the themes of development, empowerment, and sustainability. There will be presentations of 160 scientific research papers, featuring over 60 international expert speakers, both from within and outside the country. This edition of the Congress stands out because it will feature live broadcasts of surgical procedures conducted with the Da Vinci robot. This innovative approach aims to empower nursing staff by enabling them to enhance their efficiency and keep pace with technological advancements and artificial intelligence, alongside the medical team.”

Rich tributes

The conference paid tribute to the late Salma Salim Al Sharhan, the first Emirati nurse, who served thousands of people and dedicated 52 years of hard work to healthcare. The honour was received on her behalf by her family.

The Emirati Nursing Youth Forum was launched on the first day of the conference, running in parallel with the main sessions. This platform provided local students and novice nurses with an opportunity to engage with their experienced colleagues and establish channels for continuous communication. On the closing day, Emirati youth representatives will present their recommendations to the participants.

Over three days, the conference will cover a range of critical topics, including leadership, advocacy, international policy, patient safety, quality, infection control, and multidisciplinary research. On its first day, workshops were conducted on several topics, including healthcare research, summarising lengthy research articles, leadership in healthcare, sustainable healthcare, and the role of medical teams.