Lt-Gen Dhahi was speaking at the first Advisory National Forum organised yesterday by the Directorate-General of Dubai Police, to draft a national strategy to combat HIV disease in the UAE.
The event was attended by Dr Abdul Ghafar Mohamed Abdul Ghafoor, Assistant Under-Secretary for Curative Medicine at Ministry of Health; June Kunugi, representative of Unicef in GCC; Ibris Simini; Colonel Abdulla Al Baidawi, Director of Drug Control Section in the Ministry of Interior; and representatives from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, and Dubai Police.
"It is high time we give special attention to and took special care of our people's health by formulating a national strategy to fight diseases like HIV,” said the police chief.
He also called upon the Ministry of Health and other authorities concerned to make public HIV-related statistics as part of the transparency which is required to deal with such issues.
"People have the right to know the number of infected people and the preventive measures being taken. This transparency will enable social organisations, various institutions and clubs to spread public awareness about such issues," he said.
Lt-Gen Dhahi said that the Department of Naturalisation and Residency should also join in this fight and take some precautionary security and health measures in public interest.
He added that UN statistics show that the UAE is among the less-infected countries in the world in terms of Aids cases — due to the religious and cultural values of the country. However, given the large number of foreign expatriates and visitors, the authorities need to be more vigilant, he added.
In his address, June Kunugi pointed out that the UAE is among eight countries in the region which have not formulated any national strategy to combat Aids, but it still has lesser incidences of AIDs as compared to the others. She also praised the efforts of Dubai Police for being the only police force in the world to have launched and actively participated in an anti-Aids campaign.
Dr Mohamed Al Murr, Director of Dubai Human Right Department, said Dubai Police had launched a hotline service especially for HIV patients as part of UAE's five-year campaign "Together Against Aids".Colonel Abdulla Ali Rashed, Director of Drug Control at Ministry of Interior, and Mariam Al Matroushi also spoke on the occasion.
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