Dubai: 200 workers get free health check-ups at mobile clinic

The initiative was part of a special educational project by a university in the emirate

by

Nandini Sircar

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Published: Sun 9 Jun 2024, 8:10 PM

Last updated: Mon 10 Jun 2024, 4:10 PM

Over 200 blue-collar workers underwent free health screening at a mobile clinic on Sunday.

The 'Wellness on Wheels' had arrived at Naffco Camp 9 in Dubai Investment Park (DIP) 2 as part of a special educational project by a Dubai-based university.


Students of Executive MBA programme from Georgetown University collaborated with various stakeholders from the healthcare sector for the educational module called 'Ethics Module'.

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Timely diagnosis of influenza

Benefiting from this on-ground, practical project was a blue-collar worker, Mohammed Imran, who has been working in Dubai for the last six years.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, he said, “I have had fever since yesterday. I work at the Jebel Ali firefighting department. I was feeling a bit weak and my body temperature has been high. So, this initiative proved to be quite timely for me. The doctor here tested my blood sugar and enquired if I had any breathing issues. I have been prescribed some medicines.”

Dr Daiealsham from Dubai Health, one of the eight attending doctors at the mobile clinic, said that in addition to monitoring vital signs, they were also concentrating on identifying symptoms of heat injuries and illnesses.

“We have been screening the workers mostly for diabetes and hypertension, but I also ask them about any medical concerns that they may have and if they want it addressed. One patient had fever and it seemed like viral influenza. I have asked for any alarming signs where he might need any medical management like antibiotics. However, he seemed fine and his body temperature was lowering as well.”

Identifying symptoms for heat injuries, other illnesses

Sanjay Chauhan, a driver at Naffco, said that while such campaigns took place in the past, there is a heightened emphasis on workers' health now, particularly in the summer months.

“Such health check-ups have happened before but this looked different. I see a renewed focus on health and I am really glad. Initially, people were a bit skeptical; some thought it was a blood donation camp. I first clarified things and then participated,” said the Indian expat who has been here for the past 22 years.

Sanjay Chauhan
Sanjay Chauhan

“It’s difficult for everyone, particularly in the summer months. Therefore, such a drive is extremely important, especially because it helps spread awareness and if somebody is detected with a condition, it can be addressed at an early stage.”

Medical professionals and volunteers conducted health assessments, checking vital signs, and hydration levels, and screening for heat-related illnesses.

Essential supplements such as electrolytes, vitamins and hydration packs, provided by Life Pharmacy, were distributed to workers.

Hailing the move

While waiting for his turn, Shubash Selvaraj, who works at the Naffo factory, said he had been in the UAE for only four months. He praised the move and expressed his admiration for what the country has to offer.

Shubash Selvaraj and Khaled
Shubash Selvaraj and Khaled

“It’s a commendable initiative. I haven’t had any recent tests; the last ones I did were in India. In rural villages there, some private companies organise camps for regular checkups. So, I truly appreciate this initiative for expats like us. There are many of us here, often moving between different places. Regular checkups will help detect any hidden ailments in our bodies. Typically, people like us don’t visit private hospitals for checkups, so this is a great opportunity.”

Experiential learning project

Top working professionals from the government and private sectors who have enrolled in this Executive MBA programme explained they have designed the experiential learning project on their own.

To help students complete the project, the Georgetown University has provided each group of eight students with $3000 (approximately Dh11,000.

Hashem Khoory, Director - Emirates NBD Capital, said, “This is the first executive MBA programme for Georgetown University in Dubai. We are based in DIFC academy. This is a leadership course. As part of the course, they (institute) gave us $3,000 and with that amount, we needed to think of a good initiative and that’s how we thought of this programme. We have eight groups and every group gets $3,000. This is step one for us but hopefully, we can do this every quarter. Workers are an integral part of our economy, and their well-being is important. This will also set a precedent for other companies and entities to follow suit.”

Collaborating with different stakeholders

Another student, Allae Almanini, COO - Dubai Healthcare City Authority, said, “We decided to partner with others because we wanted to scale it up. Besides, we wanted this programme to impact the maximum number of people. Therefore, we partnered with Al Jalila Foundation who provided us with the mobile clinics, Dubai Health provided voluntary doctors, Life Pharmacy provided us with the supplements.”

Educational awareness was promoted by sharing essential health-related information in six different languages — Arabic, English, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, and Tagalog.

Informational materials and educational sessions on hydration, recognising signs of heat exhaustion, and basic first aid was also provided to the workers.

Student, Khaled AlShehhi, Executive Director Marketing & Communication, UAE Government Media Office, said, “We have started with 200 labourers and with different stakeholders. Georgetown University may at some point sign an MoU with these partners to repeat this exercise every year with a new cohort. We are creating an ecosystem for new students who will be ready to be a part of it. It’s also an opportunity for all students to do something on the ground. A lot of students here in this batch are actually senior leaders in the government or private sector. Most of us are busy most of the time. This is a practical opportunity to do something good for the community.”

Sara Al Nuaimi, CEO - Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), said, “At the end of the day our objective is also to give back to the community. It’s about doing good and being ethical. It applies to any sector.”

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