United Arab Emirates, Dubai, December 28, 2017: The Public Health Department of the Dubai Health Authority(DHA) has carried out a needs assessment for ophthalmological and cancer care in the Emirate.
Dr. Muhammad Wasif Alam, Director Public Health and Safety Department at the DHA, said: “Before we start any program or initiative or even develop a policy, we need to understand if the program/initiative is needed or is it already going on by other organization, so that duplication is avoided. This is called doing a Situational Analysis. However, it may not give enough information due to lack of data available, therefore out department goes one-step further and we do Needs Assessment. Needs assessment is a combination of Quantitative study (data analysis) and Qualitative study (Focus group – talking to experts in the area of their expertise).”
He said that the Public health & Safety Department (PHSD) at the DHA has done three needs assessment in the last two years.
Dr Alam said: “Each assessment is extremely comprehensive and contains over 200 pages of data analysis, data modelling and forecast with recommendations for improving the services after an in-depth analysis and after internationally benchmarking the services available in the Emirate.”
In 2016, the department carried out the Mental Health Needs Assessment, which was referenced by Ministry of Health and Prevention for developing the national Mental Health Policy and may be utilized in developing any mental health strategy or policy or program for Dubai.
In 2017, the PHSD has conducted two other needs assessments to assess two important health topics: eye health and cancer care in Dubai.
Dr Alam, said: “The needs assessment of eye health outlined the recommendations and appropriate practices needed for better eye health in Dubai. It gives a detailed overview of what is being practiced and what obstacles need to be tackled to cater the needs of the residents of Dubai as well as encourage medical tourism. This work was recently completed in close collaboration with Noor Dubai Foundation and Primary Healthcare Services Sector (PHCS) at the DHA.”
In addition to that PHSD started in mid of 2017 the cancer needs assessment which is another study focused on qualitative approach by meeting key experts from different sectors such as Dubai hospital, PHCSS, the private health sector and others. The results and recommendation of this study are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018.
Dr Alam, said: “The eye health and cancer needs assessment studies may help in setting the baseline targets and may be repeated in the next 2-3 years to assess changes or improvements in the services provided in eye health and cancer care.
Dr Alam added, “Today, with the support of DHA leadership and values, much of the DHA strategy initiatives are focused on prevention, healthy life style and promotion of health so that the people of Dubai can lead a disease free, productive and happy life.”