Obesity amongst children is a cause of concern in the UAE. Statistics published by the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi in 2014 showed 14 per cent of pupils across the emirate's schools were overweight, while 15 per cent of them suffered from obesity.
National Program for Government Communication launched 2021 Healthy Children initiative to fight obesity among children. The UAE National Agenda aims to reduce the prevalence of obesity amongst children from 13.17 per cent (as of 2014) to 12 percent by the year 2021.
All schools and their food suppliers in the UAE must follow the healthy nutritional guidelines issued by the authorities concerned, to ensure providing healthy foods for schoolchildren.
Department of Health in Abu Dhabi launched Schools for health, a health programme focussing on the all-round health of schoolchildren.
Health check-up for new-borns
In addition, as a special measure to protect infants, Department of Health in Abu Dhabi introduced the Enaya screening programme that involves checking new-borns for rare conditions. The screening involves:
- Examination by the doctor
- Hearing screening
- Congenital heart disease screening
- Heel prick/bloodspot test.
Ministry of Health and Prevention provides early detection services for neonatal diseases. The diseases that are examined include 40 genetic diseases in accordance with international standards. Some of these are:
Sickle cell anemia
Biotin deficiency disease
Diseases of amino acids, organic and fatty (mass spectrometer)
Other tests such as cardiac examination to detect critical congenital deformities of the heart and early screening of hearing disorders for newborns to detect hereditary deafness.
Department of Health in Abu Dhabi also prepares and publicises vaccination schedules for infants and children.
Read the UAE's efforts to forbid children from both active and passive smoking.
Expectant mothers need to open a file for themselves at a maternity hospital. To ensure a smooth access to maternity services, please open the file before the seventh month of pregnancy. The following documents are needed to open a file:
- Passports of both parents
- Marriage certificate; attested and translated if not in Arabic
- Residence visas of both expectant parents
- Emirates ID of both expectant parents
- Insurance card
- Family book (for UAE nationals
The baby will carry the citizenship of the father.
Maternity and paediatric care
The child can be delivered in either a government or a private hospital. The cost of delivery at a public or private hospital depends on a number of factors such as:
extent of coverage provided by the insurance (if applicable)
grade of package chosen (economy, luxury etc.)
services chosen in the package (type of room etc.)
type of delivery (normal or a caesarean; the latter being about twice as expensive)
other essential medical treatments as per individual case.
You can look for maternity and paediatric healthcare facilities on the websites of:
According to the UAE law, it is a crime to abort a pregnancy unless:
In the latter case, the foetus must be aborted before it is 120 days old, which is during the 17th week of the pregnancy and one week into the second trimester. The abortion must be approved by an authorised medical board. Abortion of foetus after 120 days of pregnancy is not be permitted.
Senior people's health and rehabilitation
Ministry of Health and Prevention launched several initiatives for the benefit of senior people. One of these initiatives is to create a database to monitor the life expectancy of older persons in the country and expand the healthcare programmes and services especially home care services.
The ministry provides mobile clinic services in remote areas of Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. The services include medical care, rehabilitation, natural treatments, preventive measures, dental, optical, dermatological and diabetes treatments. The mobile clinic in Ras Al Khaimah does not offer dental treatments.
Ministry of Community Development provides primary healthcare and social, psychological and physical therapy to UAE nationals who are at least 60 years at the Elderly Care Center or through their home care programme.
Red Crescent Authority offers various programmes for the elderly and coordinates with the elderly care centres across the country to organise various activities and events that draw attention to the issues of old people.
On special occasions, such as the International Day of Older Persons which falls on October 1, the authority organises field visits to elderly care homes to understand the needs of the ageing people and provide them with psychological support and special gifts. Red Crescent Authority also formed a team of caregivers and trained them to achieve its humanitarian mission in the elderly care arena.
In Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi city and Al Tawam Hospital in Al Ain offer home care services to all UAE nationals.
Abu Dhabi Rehabilitation Centre is the only centre that provides specialised care for the elderly in Abu Dhabi city. It admits senior citizens who have no body to take care of them. Abu Dhabi Rehabilitation Centre offers a number of city and social services including diagnosis, consultation, physical therapy, speech therapy, psychotherapy, exercise therapy, water cure, work therapy, family counselling and integration into the society.
In Al Ain, the municipality provides mobile unit service . Through this service, elderly and people of determination can request for a customer service representative to visit them at their premises and process their service requests.
Community Development Authority in Dubai runs 'Elderly Happiness' and 'Home Care (Weleef)' initiatives that ensure rehabilitation, care and happiness of senior citizens.
Dubai Health Authority provides home care services to both Emiratis and expatriate residents. DHA provides comprehensive geriatric assessment, nursing care, home safety evaluations, rehabilitation and nutrition assessment among others.
Sharjah provides home care service which involves accompanying the elderly citizens to the hospitals and nursing them back to health.
Health of people of determination
Federal Law No. 29 of 2006 Concerning the Rights of People with Special Needs protects the rights of people of determination (people with special needs) and guarantees them the right to live with dignity.
Article 2 of the law provides: A person's special needs shall not be a reason to deprive him/her of their rights and services especially in welfare as well as social, economic, health, educational, professional, cultural and leisure services.
Ministry of Health and Prevention issues disability assessment report and accredits medical reports of people of determination.
The Department of Health - Abu Dhabi provides assesses the mental status and work fitness level for people of determination.
In the emirate of Abu Dhabi, if there is a medical emergency for people of determination, you can get help by sending an SMS to 5999. You are required to send information about the incident, location of the patient and a phone number on which the police can contact you.
Mental health satisfaction is one of the key performance indicators of the pillar of world-class healthcare of the UAE National Agenda.
In the emirate of Abu Dhabi, police offers mental support to victims of disasters, crimes or social problems.
Updated on 10 Mar 2019