Gender balance is a concept of equality between representation of men and women equally in society. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will announce a council for gender balance — and introduce a first-ever health hackathon for people of determination — among the many initiatives during the forthcoming Dubai Health Forum 2019 (DHF), officials said on Sunday.

Elaborating on the council on gender balance in healthcare, to be announced during the forum, Dr Manal Al Taryam, executive director of DHA’s Primary Health Care sector told Gulf News: “We follow all the four international KPIs for gender balance announced by the Organisation for Economic and Cultural development [OECD]. These are the maternal mortality rates, child mortality rates from 0-7 years, adolescent pregnancy rates and immunisation coverage. We send the statistics on this to United Nations once every four years. To address these four KPIs, DHA will convene a council for gender balance that will be announced during the DHF and we will make sure to introduce initiatives to keep up with the KPIs.”

Dr Taryam said all emirates monitor these KPIs and the UAE as a country sends these statistics to the United Nations.

“We will assure that the female to male ratio in health care also is balanced. We make sure that the number of women going in for higher studies in medicine, nursing, paramedic studies, pharmacy return and is absorbed well in the health care sector,” Dr Taryam said.

She added that Dubai has a very good track record as far as the female to male ration in the health care sector is concerned.

“The number of female healthcare professionals currently in Dubai are 24,672, higher than the number of active male health professionals in Dubai which is 13,742,” she said.

In its third edition, the DHF, held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is expected to attract 1,500 attendees who will benefit from the 62 sessions by 42 speakers and moderators from 15 countries.

Taking place from January 21 to 22, it will combine the theme of the Year of Tolerance with health care to include international best practices in tolerance with real life health stories along with smart technologies, DNA imaging, robotics and AI in health care.

The themes this year are family health and community wellbeing, human capital in health, patient-centreed healthcare, public health sustainable economics, technology and innovation and youth and healthcare.

Speaking about the health ‘hackathon’, Amani Al Jassem, director of information and technology said: “The first ever Health Hackathon, dubbed ‘The Dubai Health Hack’, will be run for 30 hours round the clock. The hackathon will focus on discovering solutions for people of determination that includes the physically, mentally and intellectually challenged people.

The senior official said ethical hackers, who could be individuals or groups from universities and other incubators who wish to empower the community, will be invited to develop solutions that eases the day-to-day lives of people of determination.

“People can register on our website for the hackathon,” Al Jassem said. “A team of 12 mentors both academic and technical will provide tactical support to participating teams and help with their presentations on platforms provided by IBM.”

Three entries will be shortlisted and winners announced during the Innovation week in February with the winner being awarded a cash prize of Dh 60,000, first runner up will get Dh 30,000 and second runner up will be awarded Dh 10,000.

“The DHA will be the incubator for the winner who will get a chance to implement the hackathon idea into practice.”

Apart from these exciting events taking place on the two-day forum, several international influencers will present key note addresses. Most noteworthy among a battery of speakers is Arunachalam Muruganantham Aka, the Padman from India who invented the low cost sanitary napkin and was included in Time magazine’s 2014 list of 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Lebanese Superstar Elissa, who has been the highest selling female Middle Eastern artist since 2005 will be sharing her story about her battle with breast cancer.

Others include speakers from Nasa, health ministers from Bahrain and Kerala who will touch on different topics such as universal health coverage, patient centricity, health financing, quantum computing in health, AI in genomics as well as the use of Blockchain technology in health regulation to name a few.

Commenting on the forum, Humaid Al Qutami, director-general of DHA, said it aimed at achieving a happier and healthier society: “The Dubai Health Forum, organised by the Dubai Health Authority, has successfully positioned itself as an international summit where health professionals, specialists and leaders meet to discuss the latest medical advancements, professional practices, techniques and research.”