x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dubai health survey to help cater for disabled

About 5,000 people, a mix of Emiratis and expats, took part in the survey carried out by Dubai Health Authority.

Education and chronic diseases are major factors in increasing the risk of developing a physical or mental disability, a survey by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) shows.

About 5,000 residents, Emiratis and expatriates, took part in the study, conducted with the Dubai Statistics Centre.

More than 20 per cent of males reported a disability compared with 13 per cent of females. The study did not say what constituted a disability.

Among Emiratis, women reported more severe disabilities.

Age was also a factor, with 40 per cent of the overall number of people with a functional disability being older than 60.

"The survey showed that there is a direct link between chronic diseases and functional disabilities," said Dr Amal Al Halyan, a senior research specialist for the DHA's health policy and strategy department.

"In people with one or more chronic disease the extent of functional disabilities is higher. Similarly, there is a direct link between education and functional disabilities."

Laila Al Jassmi, chief executive of the department, said: "The survey … has taken into account various factors such as age, gender, nationality, income bracket and other parameters that will eventually help us formulate our public-health policies to better cater to the needs of these people."

zalhassani@thenational.ae