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Medical Committee for Special Olympics ensures comprehensive medical support ahead of the event

8 Mar, 2019: The Medical Committee for the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, spearheaded by Department of Health—Abu Dhabi (DoH), has revealed that the medical preparations for the event have been finalised with stringent government regulations set in stone to ensure the safety of visiting athletes and delegations. The event will take place from 14 – 21 March, 2019.

DoH is working closely with healthcare providers in the public and private sector to ensure integrated and concerted efforts in providing highest quality of medical services. The medical committee is comprised of the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Dubai Health Authority, Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services and Mubadala Healthcare.

H.E. Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of Department of Health commented: “We are honoured to have played an instrumental role in ensuring the success of this historical event with the support of our healthcare partners. The joint efforts of the committee is intended to ensure the provision of highest quality of medical services to People of Determination and the visiting delegations as well as attending guests locally and internationally. The committee has worked diligently to provide highly-specialised and trained medical teams, who will be available to support athletes throughout the period of their stay. The medical services available on ground will include mobile clinics, as well as a team of physicians, paramedics, and specialised physiotherapists. In addition, ambulance vehicles were hired to transport delegations from and to the airport as well as to their places of stay across the emirates. The committee has trained 300 volunteers, who will be available on ground to provide medical support.”

Members of the medical committee will work closely to ensure sufficient precautionary safety measures have been taken to prevent diseases, injuries in addition to ensuring a quick emergency response plan to respond to all medical needs. The committee will also ensure the availability of high quality specialties and subspecialties while ensuring the long-term sustainability of these services for People of Determination in UAE.

Al Hamed added, “DoH has communicated with all healthcare providers in the sector to engage them in further solidifying the emergency preparedness measures through the provision of emergency services and medical treatments to the highest quality and safety standards.”

Al Hamed extended his appreciation to the UAE leadership for the full support to ensure the success of the event, to all medical committee members, all healthcare providers, medical teams and volunteers for their unwavering dedication and support, wishing all the success to UAE Special Olympics Athletes Team. He commended the efforts of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, who went above and beyond to ensure close coordination.

The medical committee is set to ensure healthcare services are also available in local airports, on-the-field, opening and closing ceremony as well as around the delegates and athletes’ location of stays and residences.

The medical operations centre will be available around the clock for any medical emergency during the event.

The committee has organised a medical checkup for athletes “Healthy Athletes” programme, which is set to be the world’s most comprehensive medical checkup that will provide seven medical specialties. In addition, intensive screenings for athletes will also be carried out for the purpose of the detection and treatment of diseases as well as collection of health records for future medical research use.

The committee will connect medical teams through a centralised communication network to facilitate communication between medical professionals and volunteers, enabling them to monitor the event and get real-time updates on athletes’ medical conditions.

The DoH had formed the medical committee as an extension to the Local Organising Committee of Special Olympics, who began their work following the completion of 2018 Special Olympics, where they set a timeline for planning, training and implementation.

The event is set to be the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world, with 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing more than 190 countries. The event will be largest single event ever held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the first Special Olympics World Games in the Middle East. The World Games will feature 24 officially sanctioned Olympic-style sports in seven sports venues across Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

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