Technology’s role pivotal in making global health sound

Technology’s role pivotal in making global health sound
Technology’s role pivotal in making global health sound

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Arduous to achieve but it would be a fairer, healthier world when each values empathy and judiciously uses resources including technology and innovation.

UAE residents are of this opinion as everyone reels from the over a year Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and as the “World Health Day” is celebrated this 2021 for the 71st year since 1950, two years after the World Health Organisation (WHO) hosted the first World Health Assembly in 1948 and United Nations member-states agreed that dedicating one special day for a special health theme would drive the point and facilitate governments to concentrate on global health pursuits.

Global health — the WHO mandate in cooperation with various bodies such as the World Food Programme and the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund — refers to the study, research and practice that enforce equitable improved health for all.

While previous World Health Day themes include “Mental Health: Stop Exclusion, Dare to Care (2001), the 2021 theme is “Together for a Fairer, Healthier World.” The theme is knotted with the stubborn SARS-CoV2 which has paralysed every individual and nation, demonstrating inequalities and imbalances. Lead WHO is therefore calling on all leaders and governments to check on and address the root causes of all these imbalances.

WHO-Eastern Mediterranean regional director Dr Ahmed Al Mandhani said: “Health is a fundamental human right. Every person deserves to live a healthy life regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, disability, economic situation or employment. Progress in tackling health disparities has been slow worldwide, including the region in which many countries are experiencing emergencies and conflict, and we have the largest number of displaced people in the world.”

Over in the UAE, healthcare management company GoodHealth Consultancy LLC founder/managing director Dr Sanober Khatri said COVID-19 has re-directed everyone towards “healthcare and well-being the key pillars of economic success with investments (in these areas) no longer a cost but an essential; countries are now strengthening their national and international mechanisms like long-term data-driven approaches. The world needs to thrive through the pandemic and not just survive it. This can be achieved when there is a holistic approach to healthcare which focuses on a person as a whole prioritising for physical health, mental health and social well-being. There exists inequality among societies and communities because (only some enjoy all the health and healthcare benefits). A fairer world can be created when governments and communities work together and in coordination beyond borders. We can manage what we can measure and so collection and use of timely and reliable data need to be ensured.”

Medi Q Healthcare Group founder/chief executive officer Bidhan Chowdhury cited the establishment of well-equipped critical care field hospitals from 2020 because of the virus: “We need to come up with more innovations to fight future pandemics so that quality healthcare is not only the preserve of the privilege.”

Bad oral and dental health are linked to cancers, cardiovascular conditions and diabetes. Technology-Europe/Middle East/Africa senior vice president/managing director Markus Sebastian who sees the promotion of correct and proper oral and dental hygiene as a growing industry because everyone needs to eat, said the broad adaptation and implementation of dentistry for a wider reach is a tool towards a fairer global health.

Allurion nutritional consultant Cynthia Bou Khalil touched on the unabated obesity and overweight challenges as a result of the COVID19 and whose causes-obvious and hidden-are multi-factorial. Like Khatri, she promotes the holistic approach while open to the burgeoning technology that facilitates weight loss: “Take the holistic approach to health always. It is a must to eat healthily and to exercise no matter what. Ask help from a dietician.

Blueair Senior Air Filtration officer Kevin Luo pointed out that a fairer, healthier world can be had if and when technology is advanced in areas often ignored such as indoor environments where harmful microbes congregate: “There are solutions.”

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