The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) to develop a framework for cooperation in research activities related to the UAE Healthy Future Study. As per the agreement, both entities will conduct research in the field of population health, to support scientific research efforts, promote innovation, and create workshops, now and in the future.
Collaborative research will seek to improve the health of the UAE population by analyzing the impact of lifestyle, health, environment, and genetic factors on the health of the community. It also aims to understand the factors that cause obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and will offer expertise for clinical research and ongoing support.
The framework has been designed according to the recommendations of the International Science Council and implemented under the supervision of a committee of specialized researchers.
The signing ceremony was held virtually in consideration of current health and safety guidelines,, with MOHAP represented by Assistant Undersecretary for Centers and Health Clinics HE Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand, while NYUAD was represented by Provost Arlie Petters.
HE Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand stressed the importance of the MoU in creating the foundations for cooperation between the two organizations. Benefits will include the exchange of experience, data and studies, upgrading the level of health research, and promoting innovation in relation to the nation’s developing health scene.
His Excellency noted the Ministry’s keenness to cooperate with universities and institutions concerned with health research, exchanging experience, employing capabilities and competencies. He also praised NYUAD for its long-standing academic and research reputation, and the importance of making use of available capabilities, expertise, and data to enhance the efficiency of health research and surveys on the UAE Healthy Future Study.
Dr. Al-Rand also commented that health research is one of the priorities that the Ministry has included in its strategy. This is in line with its efforts to build a system of sustainable research and development, and support planning strategies for decision-making and creating health policies. The MoU also aims to measure the results of health initiatives and programs launched and implemented by the Ministry. It will gauge the extent of community response and future expectations, and strengthen national strategies for dealing with diseases and finding effective solutions to health challenges, in line with the aspirations of the UAE Centennial 2071.
NYUAD Provost Arlie Petters welcomed the strengthening of cooperation with MOHAP towards the UAE Healthy Future Study. He expressed hope that the MoU will help decision-makers find sustainable solutions for chronic issues, and expressed appreciation for the efforts of MOHAP in promoting a healthy community and providing health services in line with international standards.
Petters remarked: “Having the Ministry of Health and Prevention as an official partner and supporter of the study greatly enhances our reach and credibility, and will be invaluable in helping us to promote the UAE Healthy Future study more broadly to UAE Nationals in the Northern Emirates. Through the initial clinic spaces for recruitment at Primary Health Care Centers and Prevention Centers in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, we can extend the study even farther into the UAE and significantly increase the potential pool of participants. This will lead to a better understanding of the causes of diseases in Emiratis and ultimately help to prevent them in the future.”