Humaid Al Qutami presenting his keynote address at the inauguration of the International Family Medicine Congress on Feb 25. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Family medicine is the gate-keeper of a community’s good health, a top official from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said on Monday.

Speaking to Gulf News on the opening day of the three-day International Family Health Congress’ sixth edition, Dr Mohammad Farghaly, general secretary of the Congress, said: “Family medicine focuses on all non-communicable chronic diseases [NCDs] such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia and cancers wherein the community can go in for regular checks, preventing screenings and timely interventions at primary health centres.”

Dr Farghaly said that the DHA was mindful of the Dubai Health Strategy 2021 goals as well as the health goals of the National Health agenda. “We are targeting these diseases through evidence-based medical practices and have goals such as reducing deaths due to cancer by 25 per cent, Similarly we have other goals on the National Health agenda like increasing life expectancy, reducing the incidence of obesity-related diseases and diabetes etc. Family medicine is the first line of defense that empowers the community towards preventive screening and early detection of these NCDs.”

The congress was inaugurated by Humaid Al Qutami, DHA director-general who, in his key note address, talked about the pivotal role that this arm of medicine played in preserving community health.

“In the past few years, the medical field has witnessed an increasing demand in family medicine services [in terms of prevention, diagnostics and treatment] and the world has faced qualitative leaps on different levels, including the medical practices and modern techniques, which played a pivotal role in strengthening the position of this important medical specialty,” he said.

“Keeping this in mind, the International Family Medicine Conference features a rich comprehensive agenda focusing on the latest developments and advancements in health care such as artificial intelligence as well as the application of smart digital medical devices and equipment.”