The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has officially launched the National Seasonal Flu Awareness Campaign under the theme "Protect yourself...Protect your community".
Launched in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC), Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Emirates Health Services during a press conference held today in Dubai, the campaign will run until next December.
The annual drive aims to promote community awareness of the need to get vaccinated against seasonal flu, enhance disease prevention, reduce flu complications, and motivate community members to receive vaccines. It also aims to improve the performance of health workers and educate them on best global practices.
Present at the press conference were Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Public Health Sector, Dr. Badreya Al Shehhi, Head of the Immunisation Department at ADPHC, Dr. Nada Al Marzouqi, Director of the Department of Public Health and Prevention, Dr. Shamsa Lootah, Director of Public Health Services Department at EHS, and Dr. Hind Al Awadhi, Director of Health Promotion and Education at DHA.
The campaign’s target audience includes the majority of the population, with priority given to pregnant women, people aged 50+, those with chronic diseases, and children under the age of 5, as well as health workers. Social media, newspapers, and websites will all be used to publicise the seasonal flu campaign, which will also feature TV and radio interviews. Additionally, films promoting awareness will be produced and aired on TV and news websites.
Dr. Al Rand stressed that the annual drive was launched in the implementation of the National Policy on Vaccinations, which serves as a national framework for preventing and treating communicable diseases, such as seasonal influenza, and reducing their effects on society.
"We look forward to improving the national health system's response to respiratory infections and increasing surveillance systems in order to upgrade the outcomes of strategic indicators for vaccine coverage ratio according to international standards,"
Al Rand said, adding that vaccines will be made available at various health facilities.
Al Rand urged all community members to support national efforts, get vaccinated, and adopt healthy preventive behaviours to reduce the spread of seasonal influenza and enhance community members' preventative health.
Additionally, Dr. Al Hosani said,
"We are glad to be a permanent strategic partner in the seasonal influenza campaign, which is meant to boost public awareness of the need to take the annual flu shots."
"From providing the flu vaccines early before the season starts to launching awareness and education campaigns that enhance the awareness of the public and health sector employees about the disease and the significance of vaccination, the ADPHC is keen to take many proactive measures to reduce the spread of influenza infection. "
Al Hosani went on to say the centre has put in place an electronic system for reporting a few infectious diseases, including influenza.
Dr. Nada Al Marzouqi emphasised that the seasonal flu vaccination has proven to be safe and effective in preventing influenza infection with a high success rate over the last 60 years. It decreases the risk of hospitalisation, lessens illness complications, and provides protection against widespread infections.
Meanwhile, Dr. Shamsa Lootah said that the EHS has adopted an integrated plan to provide all preventive and curative services and that the flu vaccine is available for all categories at its facilities. She also stated that the EHS's hospitals and health centres are constantly ready to receive and treat patients.
Dr. Al Awadhi said,
"The annual flu awareness campaign and other similar campaigns showcase the distinctive model of collaboration among all health authorities in confronting diseases and immunising the community. It also demonstrates the scale of the capabilities that the health sector possesses and its capacity to offer a safe and healthy environment."
News Source: Emirates News Agency