UAE: Hospital walls fill with 'thank you' notes to honour healthcare heroes on Emirates Medical Day

Medical professionals also received a musical tribute, which portrays their courage, sacrifice and resilience


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Mon 9 May 2022, 4:08 PM

Last updated: Mon 9 May 2022, 7:55 PM

Celebrating the maiden Emirates Medical Day, UAE’s first female Emirati music composer, a popular band from India and an Arab singer have come together in a video album produced by a healthcare group to pay tribute to frontline heroes.

Marking the occasion, VPS Healthcare released a heart-warming video, and at its facilities across the country, the group set up designated walls where patients could write and stick their wishes and messages for the frontline workers.

Themed ‘The Emirates Appreciates You’, the first Emirates Medical Day is being observed in recognition of the crucial role of medical professionals in preserving the health of the community members.

This initiative to designate a specific day to celebrate healthcare workers follows a decision by the Ministerial Development Council in its session held in June last year to observe May 9 each year as Emirates Medical Day – a first such initiative of its kind in the country.

The five-minute special album titled ‘Harken’ portrays the invincible courage, sacrifice, and resilience of healthcare workers.

“We are proud to present and dedicate ‘Harken’, a musical tribute to healthcare workers, on the first Emirates Medical Day. The nation is indebted to them for their invaluable role in preserving the health of our communities and building a strong healthcare ecosystem. I thank our healthcare workers for spreading hope and light during challenging times,” said Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, chairman and managing director of VPS Healthcare, releasing the video through his social handles.

‘Harken’ has been composed by Kerala band Thaikkudam Bridge and written by lyricist Ashok Betty Nelson with the verses of the song in Arabic, Urdu, and English.

Eman Al Hashimi, the first female Emirati music composer, played the piano, and Amir Zarkani, an Arab singer based in Dubai, sang the Arabic verses. Anish Gopalakrishnan and Krishna Bongane, singers at Thaikkudam Bridge, rendered the English and Urdu portions.

Eman said: “It is a great privilege for me to become a part of this great project. We salute the frontline heroes for their manifestation of courage, strength, and resilience. The selfless services of the frontline workers in saving humanity from Covid-19 will always be remembered and scripted in golden letters in the history of mankind.”

Govind Vasantha, front man at Thaikkudam Bridge, said they were honoured to be part of the project.

“‘Harken’ is an expression of our humble gratitude and love for the heroes for their service to humanity. In the face of the pandemic, healthcare workers spread hope and imbued the world with valour to fight the darkest times of our lives. The world would always be indebted to them for their selfless services,” said Vasantha, well-known for his works in the Tamil film ‘96’.

Another striking feature of the album, shot at Burjeel Medical City and the Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi, is the background of the actors. Most of them are healthcare workers who have attended to Covid-19 patients in the UAE.

The Emirates Medical Day has been organised by the Emirates Medical Association (EMA) in cooperation with the Ministry of Community Development and with the support of the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Department of Health (DoH) – Abu Dhabi, Emirates Health Services (EHS), Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Sciences and Burjeel Hospitals.

Meanwhile, Burjeel Hospitals saw many people lining up to post their messages of appreciation in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. LLH, Lifecare, and Medeor hospitals also participated in the celebrations.

“The robust healthcare sector in the UAE has proven its mettle in dealing with different crises and adapting to the changing needs of the patients. Our determined and hardworking healthcare workers strengthen the healthcare system. Emirates Medical Day is a wonderful gesture extended by the authorities to honour the frontline workers who have played an invaluable role in containing the pandemic,” said Heba Mostafah, an Emirati patient admitted in Sharjah’s Burjeel Hospital.

Chinthala Laxman, a blue-collar worker in Musaffah, noted: “The past two years have reminded us of the importance of healthcare workers in saving lives and ensuring the well-being of our communities. Today, we are seeing a return to normalcy because of these frontliners and their tireless efforts.”

Khadija Alamasi, nurse manager, quality at Burjeel Medical City in Abu Dhabi, was beaming with joy seeing the surprise video and messages on the wall.

“I am thankful to the UAE government for recognising the work we are doing. As frontline workers, such gestures inspire and motivate us to push forward and do better,” Khadija added.


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