Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC), the government entity accelerating the UAE’s mission towards a healthy and safe society by bolstering public health initiatives, announced the launch of IFHAS; a new program aimed at the early detection of chronic diseases through comprehensive periodic examinations.

With chronic diseases a global and local challenge and a leading cause of death, this distinguished health program will see “Thiqa” card holders above 18 years of age benefit from comprehensive medical examinations, helping them to potentially avoid the risk of a number of chronic and non-communicable diseases. This program is in line with global experts and specialists’ recommendations, stressing the importance of adopting appropriate prevention measures, embracing healthy lifestyles and ensuring the early detection of chronic diseases to help stem their development into an incurable stage.

As part of the IFHAS program, a full clinical assessment of the health risks resulting from several chronic diseases is conducted, according to age and gender, along with a comprehensive clinical examination in line with the most important health challenges and needs in a number of primary health care centers in Abu Dhabi. These include Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) facilities, Mubadala Healthcare centers, Mediclinic Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra, NMC and Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi.

Among the many advantages this program offers, is that it enables beneficiaries to familiarize themselves with their health status by receiving a detailed medical report with their examination results within 10 days of the testing date. This is supplemented with a detailed presentation of the report by the licensed medical center where the examination took place.

His Excellency, Matar Saeed Al Nuaimi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, said: "The IFHAS program is one of the Abu Dhabi government’s strategic initiatives and has been launched in line with the vision of the nation’s leadership to provide world class healthcare and wellbeing initiatives to the Abu Dhabi community across preventative and curative healthcare. The program aims to provide Thiqa cardholders aged 18 and above with full medical assessments that ensure prevention and early detection. These examinations will further provide a holistic view of the current state of public health, across all segments of society, and will contribute to the development of preventative and curative health programs.

To ensure swift and easy participation, His Excellency added: “We have launched IFHAS for Thiqa cardholders aged 18 and above across a number of primary medical facilities in the emirate to facilitate access to the program. I urge all Thiqa cardholders to benefit from IFHAS by taking the required tests and supporting both the UAE’s mission and ADPHC’s vision towards fostering a healthy and safe society.”

Her Excellency Dr. Omniyat Al Hajri, Executive Director of the Community Health Sector at Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, added: “I urge citizens of the target group to get tested regularly to detect cardiovascular diseases and their associated risk factors. We advise all members of society to adopt a healthy lifestyle, make healthy food choices, engage in various physical activities, and avoid smoking and similar bad habits. Such initiatives will contribute to raising the quality of life for our community members."

Dr Anwar Sallam, Group Chief Medical Officer at Abu Dhabi Health Services Company – SEHA, commented: "This initiative will play a vital role in improving the health of many citizens and residents in the UAE and will prevent the onset of many serious and life-threatening conditions. Through our partnership with Abu Dhabi Public Health Center, we will be offering these tests at all 46 of our SEHA clinics in the country and encourage everyone who is eligible to make the most of this service. Through the wide reach of our network, we are ensuring that everyone in the community has easy access to this potentially life-saving service as part of our on-going commitment to promote a healthy lifestyle for all."

Hasan Jasem Al Nowais, CEO of Mubadala Health, said: “The launch of the IFHAS Program is a great initiative that is well in line with the UAE’s commitment to the safety of its citizens, as it will support in raising health awareness across our communities. Early detection plays an essential role in reducing diseases and complications and increases the overall success of treatments and patient recovery. In general, IFHAS Program is an addition to the UAE’s healthcare journey, at a time when Abu Dhabi is fast becoming at the forefront of the world’s medical capitals.”

"Based on our belief in the importance of the role that healthcare plays in societies, we at Mubadala Health look forward to cooperating and supporting IFHAS Program through our facilities, alongside other awareness programs launched by ADPHC.” he added.

Joe Hazel, Chief Operating Officer, Mediclinic Abu Dhabi and Al Ain said: “We are delighted that our hospitals and our clinics in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra have been selected to be part of the periodic comprehensive screening programme. Mediclinic is steadfast in its support of Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre’s endeavours to curb the adverse effects of chronic diseases by facilitating early detection services to the community from a young age.  Our team of specialised doctors and experienced nurses will ensure a seamless flow throughout the screening process for every patient and will provide the guidance needed for patients to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

Frank Gabriel Delisi, Senior Vice President Operations, NMC, added: “NMC is privileged to be a part of the IFHAS program launched by Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre that aims at protecting the emirate's residents' health thereby ensuring the safety of all workers by promoting excellence in public and preventative health concepts.”

The IFHAS program aims at addressing the dread of chronic diseases - a global and local challenge, consisting of a number of internationally recognized and scientifically proven tests to reduce mortality and increase the quality of life through an effective screening process. What’s most meaningful, is the that IFHAS shall be implemented in conjunction with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi’s (DoH) ongoing Periodic Comprehensive Health Screening Program (PCSP).

Prof. Abdel Rahman Ahmed Omer, CEO Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi said: “Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi and Burjeel at Marina, part of VPS group, are one of the top Emirati Health care organizations that provide wellbeing and health care services for the Emirati Community, extending care to all of those who live or visit the UAE.  We, as a major health provider in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, are delighted to partner with Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre in the delivery of all services they set and confirm our support for their vision and mission. At Burjeel Abu Dhabi, we believe that " Healthy individuals are the building blocks of a healthy nation" - a journey started by the Late HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the 60s and it is our duty to continue with it and pass it to generations to come.

Global studies report that the seriousness of chronic diseases lies mainly in the failure to detect them early. Chronic diseases usually do not show clear signs or symptoms, giving people a false sense of security.

Specialists emphasise the importance of early detection before the development of further complications, to help individuals closely monitor their health status, enabling them to take proper actions to improve their current and future health.

In this regard, some of the best tactics to combat diseases and avoid further complications include early detection, better food choices, exercising, treatment and early intervention, as these also work to reduce risks of heart attacks and strokes – considered some of the highest causes of death in the UAE.

For more information about the comprehensive periodic examination program IFHAS, please visit the website https://www.adphc.gov.ae.