x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Students graduate from UAE-funded healthcare project in the Maldives

The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has funded a medical services project, including a dedicated nursing centre, in the Indian Ocean island nation since 2010.

ABU DHABI // A UAE-backed project that aims to improve health care in the Maldives has helped the latest batch of students graduate with a nursing diploma.

The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has funded a medical services project, including a nursing centre, there since 2010.

There has been a rising demand for trained healthcare professionals to deliver services to islanders in far-flung and remote regions.

Twelve students completed their diploma in nursing at the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Nursing Centre's programme this year.

"Health care is one of the foundation's tenets, one which we give tremendous priority to in every country we operate," said Mohammed Haji Al Khouri, director general of the foundation.

"Our initiative will not only benefit the isolated and remote populations that do not have much-needed access to efficient medical services, but create a system that will facilitate a systematic healthcare network."

The Maldives centre, one of the leading institutions in the country for nursing curriculum, serves the Khalifa bin Zayed Distance Medical Services project, which delivers medical services to a network of 35 islands in the Maldivian atolls.

The foundation's project funds a "telemedicine diagnostic treatment network" – a combination of medical and telecommunication equipment allowing doctors to examine patients hundreds of kilometres away, usually with the assistance of a trained nurse at the patient's end.

On each of the 35 islands, medical kiosks are managed by nurses and technicians, while doctors in the central location assess diagnostic information and prescribe medications for all cases.

Annually, the kiosks help to treat 10,000 patients.

The agreement between the foundation and the Republic of Maldives was signed in May 2010 by the foundation's vice president, Ahmed Juma Al Zaabi, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Ahmed Naseem, minister of foreign affairs of the Maldives.

It was overseen by foundation chairman and Deputy Prime Minister, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed.

The initiative is the first of its kind to be funded by the foundation.

It is part of its humanitarian programme to fund sustainable projects that create job opportunities in aid recipients and raise standards of basic services, particularly in health and education.

jbell@thenational.ae