Life StyleMoHAP UAE launches National Survey for Health and Nutrition 2024

MoHAP UAE launches National Survey for Health and Nutrition 2024

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Dubai, UAE- May 20, 2024: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has officially commenced fieldwork for the National Survey for Health and Nutrition 2024-2025 in collaboration with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, alongside local health authorities and statistical centres.

Announced during a press conference in Dubai, the survey aims to enhance national health policies and achieve the goals set for comprehensive development by 2030. The press event was attended by prominent figures including HE Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector at MoHAP; HE Mohamed Hassan Ahli, Executive Director of the Data and Statistics Sector at the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre (FCSC), and Dr Alia Zaid Harbi, Director of the Statistics and Research Centre at MoHAP.

This is in addition to 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.

The National Health Survey is designed to achieve four key objectives: to collect reliable field data on UAE’s health status using a national statistical methodology that aligns with the highest international standards for data quality, to refresh the population health database, and to measure health performance indicators.

Also Read: MoHAP Hosts Innovative Lab to Design National Framework for Health and Wellness

Simultaneously, the National Nutrition Survey aims to map out three strategic goals: gathering field data on the UAE’s nutritional landscape to enhance food-related health planning policies and updating the national food database.

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.

Key indicators

The National Health Survey will focus on six key indicators: socio-economic factors, household health expenditures, and the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and risk factors (STEPS). Additionally, the survey will measure biophysical data, assess the accessibility and utilization of healthcare services, and evaluate air pollution indicators.

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Similarly, the National Nutrition 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, anemia in pregnant women, and daily salt consumption.

Reliable database

During the press conference, HE Dr Al Rand emphasized that health surveys are a globally recognized practice, endorsed by the World Health Organization and are useful tools not only to shape health sector plans but also to enhance public health and quality of life and improve health service levels.

“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,” Al Rand said.

Governance of Statistical Data

HE Mohamed Hassan, Executive Director of the Statistics and Data Science Sector at the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, said that the official statistical information collected through the National Health and Nutrition Survey will play an essential role in supporting the UAE’s development journey.

Statistical centres, he explained, develop all standards to ensure complete confidentiality of the information and data gathered during field visits, according to accurate technical considerations that include the basic scientific principles of official statistics.

Hassan added that 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.”

Planning for development of health programs

Dr. Abdullah Al-Naqbi, Acting Executive Director of the Supportive Health Services Sector at Emirates Health Services (EHS), stated, “The National Health and Nutrition Survey 2024 campaign is designed to enhance and develop health services in the UAE, aligning with the goals of the We the UAE Vision 2031 and Sustainable Development 2030. It will play a vital role in creating a comprehensive database that bolsters our planning capabilities and the development of both preventive and curative health programs, ultimately improving the quality of life for all citizens and residents in the country.

Data collection methodology

For her part, Dr. Alia Harbi said that the National Survey for Health and Nutrition 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 Organization 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 Harbi further stated that the national health survey aims to reach 10,000 families of both citizens and residents, as well as 2,000 workers. The national nutrition survey, targeting a different set of 10,000 families, will include 40% citizens and 60% residents.

She emphasized that the survey participants will consist of adults over the age of 18, children in two age groups—one from one day to 5 years and another from 6 to 17 years—and females aged 15 to 49 years, including pregnant women.

Scientific Methodology

Khalid Al Jallaf, Director of the Research, Studies and Data Analysis Department at the Dubai Health Authority, stressed that national health surveys are a global standard, adopted by the most developed countries to maximize the health well-being of their populations.

He noted that the UAE’s healthcare system is undergoing significant transformations, adding that the launch of the fieldwork for the National Health and Nutrition Survey 2024-2025 would further these transformations and support the nation’s commitment to health sustainability.

Al Jallaf highlighted that the survey’s dual focus on health and nutrition reflects the significant attention the UAE dedicates to enhancing and modernizing its healthcare systems based on empirical data and future projections gleaned from the survey. The data collected will, subsequently, be utilised to develop policies and plans that align with strategic objectives, particularly those associated with “We the UAE 2031” vision.

He assured that the Dubai Health Authority is fully committed to supporting the national survey campaign, promising to exert all necessary efforts to fulfil the campaign’s objectives and achieve its ultimate goals.

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