UAE: NCEMA official stresses importance of proactive approach to address future epidemics

It aims to draw a common picture of future biological risks through foresight, prediction


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Tue 19 Jul 2022, 7:20 PM

It is important for a nation to have a proactive and forward-looking approach to address all risks and possibilities related to future epidemics and biological risks, said a top UAE official.

Speaking at the future of epidemics and biological risks forum in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, Obaid Rashid Al-Hussan Al Shamsi, Vice-Chairman of the National Emergency Crisis and Management Authority (NCEMA) said it was vital to study all predictions, develop proposed solutions so as to address the challenges that may be posed by the epidemics.

"The national efforts made in this forum seeks to develop a vision for a safe future aimed at ensuring the health and safety of the UAE community and to preserve the country's gains and achievements,” said Al Shamsi.

The two-day forum which kicked off on Tuesday was attended by several experts in the field of epidemiological and biological sciences.

The forum organised by NCEMA, aims to draw a common picture of future biological risks and threats through foresight and prediction in order to enhance the resilience of the country's sectors and develop their capabilities to ward off risks and mitigate their repercussions.

Dr. Alawi Al Sheikh Ali, Deputy Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority, and member of the Emirates Scientists Council and the Medical Scientific Committee stressed the importance of this forum, which comes at a time when there is an urgent need to anticipate the future and take all proactive steps and measures to confront the expected challenges, in a way that contributes to protecting “our communities and enhance their health security.”

Atraf Shehab, CEO of the Centennial Laboratory at the Office of Government Development and the Future said: "Foresight is a key axis in the readiness of governments for the future and the development of their innovative predictive and proactive capabilities in preparing for the upcoming changes and challenges."

Professor Abdul-Malik Khalafallah, an expert in veterinary viruses, discussed the importance of prevention and preparedness to confront the risks of transmission of epidemic diseases from animals to humans with a single health approach.

The forum also included several discussion sessions focusing on biotechnology, Artificial Intelligence, biosecurity in the health, agricultural and animal fields, as well as bioterrorism, in addition to cyberattacks related to the field and sectors that may be affected, such as tourism and the economy.


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