UAE plays vital role in flights, medical supplies and surgical trauma kits, says Dr Tedros
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus inspects an area in the northern city of Aleppo. – Agence France-Presse
The UAE has been a key supporter of the World Health Organization’s efforts to deliver aid, relief supplies and medical supplies following devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
In a virtual address on day 2 of the World Government Summit, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus thanked the UAE for its assistance in transporting emergency relief supplies and equipment to support ground aid efforts and search and rescue operations in both countries.
Dr Tedros, who is currently coordinating WHO’s response to the catastrophic earthquake in Syria, said: “The UAE plays a vital role in our work … providing flights, medical supplies and surgical trauma kits. To date, we have 110 tonnes of medical supplies have been distributed to affected areas across the Syrian Arab Republic. The UAE plays an important role in WHO’s emergency preparedness, response and resilience work around the world.”
He reiterated that the earthquake is another reminder for all countries to build capacity and response frameworks for health emergencies.
“With urbanization, habitat destruction, intensified agriculture and climate change, these risks are increasing. WHO’s new Pandemic, Prevention, Preparedness and Response Fund (PPR) will help deliver support to countries most in need. We must work to build new platforms for equitable access to medical products and build resilient and scalable clinical care. Even as we strengthen the world to respond to different health emergencies, we must target many others that are equally deadly but few Health that is in the headlines demands action.”
He also highlighted the unsustainable toll of complex crises such as conflict, Covid, cholera, recession and now earthquakes.
He added: “Too many women and children are still dying from complications of childbirth. Many are still dying from HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and tropical diseases. Too many are still dying from non-communicable diseases unhealthy and hyped products. Too many die from unsafe roads, unsafe medicine and healthcare, unsafe cooking fuels, and unsafe water and sanitation. Too many also die from pollution and Climate-related health threats. Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals has slowed and the window of opportunity is narrowing. WHO is therefore very grateful to the United Arab Emirates for its partnership and leadership in addressing many of these threats through initiatives such as the Government Accelerator Program role to have faster impact through collaboration and innovation.”
He asserted that while WHO is working in all affected areas and further expanding relief efforts, greater cooperation in different areas that affect humanity will help to achieve effective results.
“I am also delighted that the UAE will host COP28 later this year and that health will be a key part of these discussions. The climate crisis is a health crisis and climate solutions are health solutions such as renewable energy, health and sustainable A healthy food system, healthy and green cities. Ultimately, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that we are human beings sharing the same planet. I thank His Highness and the people of the UAE for their continued commitment to creating a healthier, safer and fairer world for all future,” he added.