The Ministry of Health and Social Protection announced the launch of the annual national seasonal influenza campaign under the slogan “Strengthen Yourself … Protect Your Society”, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Center for Public Health, the Dubai Health Authority and the Emirates Foundation for Health Services to increase societal awareness, increase prevention to reduce complications and motivate individuals Society to receive seasonal flu vaccination, increase the efficiency of health workers and educate them in best international practice.
This came during a press conference held by the Ministry in Dubai today, in the presence of Dr. Hussein Abdel Rahman Al Rand, Deputy Secretary to the Public Health Sector, Farida Al Hosani, Executive Director of the Infectious Diseases Sector at the Abu Dhabi Center for Public Health, Dr. Nada Al Marzouqi, Director of the Public Health and Prevention Department at Ministry, and Dr. Shamsa Lootah, Director of Public Health Services Department at the Emirates Foundation for Health Services, Dr. Laila Al Jasmi, Head of the Immunization Department at the Ministry and Dr. Hind Al Awadi, Head of Health Promotion and Education at the Dubai Health Authority.
The campaign’s target groups include most in the community, with priority given to pregnant women aged 50 and older, people with chronic diseases, children under 5 and care staff.
The communication campaign includes social media platforms, newspapers and websites, television and radio interviews and the preparation of visual awareness material and their dissemination via satellite channels and news sites.
Dr Hussein Abdel Rahman Al Rand stressed that the annual national campaign to raise awareness of seasonal flu is one of the key events on the ministry’s agenda, based on its desire to develop healthcare responses to respiratory diseases and to strengthen monitoring mechanisms to improve strategic indicator performance. for the vaccination coverage rate according to international standards, through accessibility in the network of health care facilities, in the Ministry’s awareness of the importance of health safety and risk prevention and inclusion as a national priority in the emirate.
He pointed out that the ministry is keen to implement precautionary and preventive measures in healthcare facilities during the flu vaccination period, which is necessary to reduce the burden on the health sector and give it the necessary time to focus on combating the “Covid -19” pandemic and notes that the United The success of the United Arab Emirates in the management and control of the “pandemic. ”Of a national health system to immunize members of society from infectious diseases.
The Influenza Awareness Campaign, which will continue until the end of December 2021, is aimed at members of society with awareness awareness about the disease, its complications and ways to prevent it, in addition to providing vaccination in the broadest sense to achieve comprehensive coverage, while reaffirming health facilities’ readiness to receive those who want to take the vaccination under precautionary and preventive measures, in addition to raising the level of vaccination coverage among health workers and increasing their effectiveness with the latest international recommendations and scientific methods, through lectures, workshops and training on the most important modern methods to prevent seasonal flu and Avoid its risks.
The flu season coincides with “Covid-19” and poses major challenges for health cadres and requires more community involvement to apply the necessary preventive measures to prevent the spread of the two viruses.
The seasonal flu vaccine is effective and safe; Because it has proven its effectiveness over 60 years in preventing influenza infection with high success, as it reduces complications of the disease and the number of hospitalizations, which protects against common viruses.
It is recommended to take the seasonal flu vaccine for healthcare professionals, especially in the first line of defense, in emergency rooms, outpatient clinics, primary care centers and intensive care units, to reduce the risk of transmitting the disease to patients and family members.
Farida Al Hosani, Executive Director of the Infectious Diseases Sector at the Abu Dhabi Center for Public Health, for her part, announced that health authorities in Abu Dhabi have provided more than 300,000 seasonal flu vaccines, and this vaccination is available in primary care centers and hospitals, in addition to the private health sector to facilitate the public.
Al-Hosani explained that there is a great similarity between the symptoms of “Covid-19” disease and seasonal flu. It is recommended that in case of respiratory symptoms do not ignore these symptoms and perform necessary laboratory tests and isolate from others until the results are displayed.
Dr Shamsa Lootah, Head of the Public Health Care Department at Emirates Health Services Corporation, pointed out that a well-studied plan has been adopted to deal with seasonal flu by increasing the readiness of hospitals and health centers to deal effectively with all cases.
Although the campaign coincides with the “Covid-19” pandemic, efforts are intensifying and more extensive and diversified to reach the largest segment of society to educate society on ways to distinguish between seasonal flu symptoms and “Covid 19” infection symptoms, as well as awareness of the risks of the disease and its complications and not to be lenient with taking precautions and preventive measures from it and to ensure that the vaccine is taken before the season of influenza and to reduce its spread.
Lootah stressed that the United Arab Emirates has made great strides in this regard by developing the reality of prevention and cure services, enhancing the quality and rehabilitating its workers, in addition to developing a system for monitoring infectious diseases, in particular influenza, by providing data, early detection of diseases and taking the necessary preventive measures, urges members of the community to take vaccination and appropriate preventive habits to reduce the spread of seasonal flu.
Dr. Hind Al-Awadi, Head of the Department of Health Promotion and Education at the Dubai Health Authority, reviewed the continuous efforts made by the Dubai Health Authority to preserve health, safety and security in the community and protect it from various diseases, including seasonal flu, praising the collaboration and the coherence of all national efforts to achieve the national objectives of this campaign, which have achieved outstanding results in recent years.
Dr Al-Awadi emphasized the importance and safety of the influenza vaccine and its effective role in reducing the disease and its negative complications, especially for groups at greater risk of influenza complications, such as children under 5, adults over 65, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases, such as asthma, heart, kidney and liver diseases, diabetes and health workers.
Dr Al-Awadi indicated that the primary health care centers of the Dubai Health Authority were prepared to receive members of the community to take the vaccine, taking into account all precautions to prevent and prevent infection.