Health officials from various departments during the press conference about the survey on Monday in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Fieldwork for the National Survey for Health and Nutrition 2024-2025 has started, with 10,000 families to be confidentially polled on household health expenditures, prevalence of noncommunicable diseases and risk factors.

Additionally, the survey will measure biophysical data, assess the accessibility and utilisation of healthcare services, and evaluate air pollution indicators.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

This was announced by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) during a press conference in Dubai on Monday.

The Survey is being held in collaboration with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, alongside local health authorities and statistical centres.

MoHAP stressed that all data collected from individuals and families will remain confidential, with “stringent measures” in place to ensure that information is exclusively used for statistical purposes. “The survey outcomes will be distilled into comprehensive statistical reports and indicators, meticulously avoiding the inclusion of any personal data,” MoHAP said.

What will be measured?

The Survey will investigate six crucial areas: micronutrient deficiencies, including zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin D; dietary habits; and child growth metrics from birth to five years old, which include stunting, wasting, obesity, and underweight conditions. The survey will also measure urinary iodine and sodium levels, anaemia in pregnant women, and daily salt consumption.

read more

Top officials

Monday’s media briefing was attended by Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector at MoHAP; Mohamed Hassan Ahli, Executive Director of the Data and Statistics Sector at the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC), Dr Alia Zaid Harbi, Director of the Statistics and Research Centre at MoHAP, and Khalid Al Jallaf, Director of the Research, Studies and Data Analysis Department at the Dubai Health Authority.

The event was held in cooperation with the Emirates Health Services, the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre and Dubai Data and Statistics– Digital Dubai.

Reliable database

“Driven by the nation’s end goal of achieving global leadership and boosting the UAE’s competitiveness as a worldwide health model, we are committed to building a robust database to refine planning and develop mechanisms that elevate health sector performance to the highest international standards,” Dr Al Rand said.

He encouraged all individuals targeted by the survey to engage cooperatively with the field teams, emphasising the importance of their participation in collecting essential health data to enhance health services.

Scheduled interviews

Dr Alia said the Survey will concurrently survey two distinct samples through personal interviews conducted during field visits, scheduled in advance with families within the targeted sample range.

She noted that the questionnaires, approved by the World Health Organisation and national health authorities, are available in four languages: Arabic, English, Hindi, and Urdu. They have been digitally designed to streamline both the collection and analysis of data.

Dr Alia further stated that the national health survey aims to reach 10,000 families of both citizens and residents, as well as 2,000 workers.

Who else will be asked?

Meanwhile the national nutrition survey - targeting a different set of 10,000 families - will include 40 per cent citizens and 60 per cent expats.

The survey participants will consist of adults over the age of 18, children in two age groups (up to 5 years and another from six to 17 years) and females aged 15 to 49 years, including pregnant women.

Importance of data

Ahli said official statistics are very useful for the development of government policies and planning. “Hence, we are committed to employing sound governance tools to manage and protect data and information, as well as using the latest technologies to collect, analyse, and process data, ensuring both confidentiality and privacy,” he added.

“The survey results will support the development of the national health system and improve the level of services provided in the UAE. This, in turn, will enhance the country’s global competitiveness and ensure continued prosperity for its citizens and residents.”