Following the recent conclusion of COP28 UAE, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and PureHealth signed an agreement to conduct specialised studies and research programmes to explore the effect of environmental impacts on public health.

The agreement mandates the cooperation of both entities on the preparation of environmental studies that explore the interconnection with public health in Abu Dhabi, and aim to address critical environmental challenges and their implications on community wellbeing.

Working groups will be formed to identify specific collaboration areas based on EAD's focus areas and priorities, ensuring that the research efforts support government policies and objectives of ensuring a healthy environment for all. Both organisations will also share data and research expertise as well as capacity-building initiatives through training programmes and knowledge exchange.

Her Excellency Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of EAD, said: “Signing this MoU with PureHealth is extremely exciting and relevant because it’s vital that we explore the link between the environment and public health in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. With our expertise in conducting scientific research and our knowledge of the environment, intertwined with PureHealth’s knowledge of public health, we will be able to develop research of the highest scientific standard while applying best practices. We will be conducting specialised studies that shows the expected impacts of public health based on projections of environmental elements.

“Most importantly, we will be able to explore the relationship between the effects of climate change on public health – a very pertinent and immediate topic. The Abu Dhabi Climate Change Strategy, which we launched in July of this year, identified that health is one of the most vulnerable sectors for climate change impacts in the UAE. Therefore, through the strategy we address public health under adaptation to climate change.

“We know that high temperatures have a detrimental impact on public health, and scientific literature indicates a strong link between climate change and health-related issues. Therefore, the research we will undertake in collaboration with PureHealth will help us to better assess the situation and implement programmes to reduce the harm of climate change.

Farhan Malik, Managing Director of PureHealth, said: “We recognise the impact of climate change on public health and are committed to not only accelerating climate action, but also promoting a new model of care through sustainable methods. Our vision is a future in which sustainability and longevity go hand-in-hand, aligning with the UAE leadership’s vision. We are proud of our partnership with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi to support specialised research on changing weather patterns and its impact to shape policies and programmes for the benefit of public health. This is part of our endeavour to engage with local and international communities to raise awareness and support action for a healthier and greener world, where everyone can live longer, healthier, happier, and more fulfilling lives.”

As part of the collaboration, both parties will develop detailed whitepapers that outline the current and expected states of heat stress and its implications on public health, and to identify any recommended initiatives and projects to mitigate this issue. The outcomes of the whitepapers will be used to raise public awareness about the impacts of environmental changes on the health of Abu Dhabi residents, helping to create a well-informed and inclusive society.