United Arab Emirates, October 5, Dubai, 2011: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) signed a memorandum of association (MoU) with Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Charity Foundation to expand neonatal facilities within DHA hospitals.
The MoU is part of MAF Charity Foundation’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. As part of the MoU, MAF Charity Foundation will sponsor building the extension of the NICU “Neonatal Intensive Care Unit” at Al Wasl Hospital. The extension will be made to increase the capacity of beds in order to accommodate a higher number of premature newborns who need intensive care.
His Excellency Khalid Al Sheikh Mubarak, Deputy Director of the DHA said, “Neonatal services are of vital importance to serve the community and its youngest members. We are very pleased that MAF Charity Foundation has decided to assist us in our expansion plans. It is a noble initiative that will significantly benefit the community.”
As part of the contract, DHA is responsible for staffing and running the unit. MAF charity foundation will fund the construction and provide the equipment for the extended unit of the NICU. In terms of the functioning of the project, the steering, medical and technical committees from both parties will be involved in the completion of the project.
Abdulraouf Taher, Medical Director of Majid Al Fattaim Charity Foundation said, “We firmly believe in such initiatives that seek to improve the lives of the community members. The foundation’s primary objective is to contribute to the well-being and prosperity of UAE communities through establishing or participating in projects that add value in healthcare and employment-based education. We are very keen to see the successful implementation of this project, which will provide an impetus to the NICU facilities in Al Wasl hospital.”
Dr Mohammad Al Olama, CEO of Hospital Services Sector at the DHA said, “Presently Al Wasl Hospital is the only tertiary perinatal centre in Dubai and Northern Emirates that provides state-of-the-art neonatal services including paediatric and neonatal surgery. The hospital also manages genetic and metabolic cases. Since Al Wasl Hospital has an equipped NICU and an expert team of neonatal and maternity specialists, it receives a majority of the neonatal cases in the Emirate, and therefore it is imperative to expand the NICU facilities to cater to the population’s future needs. “
Dr Abdulla Al Khayat, CEO of Al Wasl Hospital said, “Al Wasl is the only hospital in Dubai which accepts the babies with the lowest gestational age and birth weight, which is 24 weeks onwards and 500 grams onwards.”
He added that below this number, babies are not considered viable. “In addition to receiving the youngest preterm babies, the hospital also receives complicated cases- some of which are transferred from the private sector to Al Wasl hospital since the hospital is known for managing high risk cases both in terms of maternity and neonates.”
He added that given the demand of the services of the hospital, the expansion of the NICU will significantly help the hospital. “Funding the expansion of the NICU is indeed a humanitarian project and we are very pleased that MAF Charity Foundation has supported us in this endeavour. The expansion of the NICU will cater to expected future demand of these services and will also help us further enhance the level of care provided at the hospital.”
Dr Khayat added that in 2010, the NICU unit had 430 preterm babies. The hospital presently has 34 incubators in the NICU section and the expansion will add 18 more incubators to the facility.
The MoU was signed at the DHA headquarters in the presence of senior DHA members including Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of Health Policy and Strategy Sector, Ahmed Bin Kalban, CEO of Primary Healthcare Sector, Dr Amer Sharif, Acting Director of Business Development and Projects, Hospital Services Sector, Engineer Saeed Ali Al Shamsi, Director of Technical
Operations at the DHA, Tony Batour Elzoghbi, Director of Governance and Internal Audit and from MAF group the senior members included Prof. Najib Al Khaja, Board Member of Majid Al Futtaim Charity Foundation, Basma Harara, Director Healthcare at MAF charity foundation, Helen Beese, Project Manger of MAF properties and Ian Feast, Project Director of MAF properties.