Abu Dhabi hosts consultation on global response to flu and respiratory viruses

Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Deputy Undersecretary for Public Health Sector of the Ministry of Health and Prevention, emphasized the importance of organizing such an event to improve integrated global surveillance of influenza and other respiratory viruses and boost preparation of health systems to face them. He highlighted that this session is part of the health sector’s continued efforts to prioritize prevention and safeguard public health, recognizing it as a national imperative to improve quality of life and well-being.

Between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths a year are associated with respiratory diseases caused by seasonal flu, he told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

In collaboration with the WHO and with the support of the Ministry of Health and Prevention, this initiative is aligned with Abu Dhabi’s health sector strategy to improve surveillance systems and its preparedness to face emerging respiratory diseases. Continued improvement in the treatment of these diseases is crucial, given that influenza is a prevalent respiratory disease that poses a significant challenge to community health, with impacts spanning multiple sectors.

The results derived from the consultation contribute to improving a shared understanding of global health challenges and promoting international cooperation in the field of infectious disease control. Furthermore, they establish the UAE’s role as a leader in health innovation and in combating the global health challenge.

Organizers said this organization will enable the utilization of global experiences and knowledge in public health, fostering international collaboration to build networks dedicated to combating infectious diseases. Their goal is to discover the latest strategies to prevent the spread of the flu. Furthermore, its results will contribute to updating surveillance practices and developing the Global Integrated Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), thereby improving the capacity to address global health challenges and strengthening mechanisms for GISRS to coordinate with non-sentinel surveillance and response systems for early detection, monitoring activity and informed use of public health measures in a future pandemic or epidemic.

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