Al Jalila Foundation hosts annual ‘Destination Medicine Summit’ to motivate the next generation of Emirati Doctors to position the UAE at the forefront of medical innovation

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Dubai, UAE, 17 April 2017 – Al Jalila Foundation, a member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, today opened the highly-anticipated fourth edition of Destination Medicine Summit, a 3-day event welcoming 2000 Emirati students (aged 11 to 14) from 40 schools, both private and government, from across the Emirates. The global philanthropic organisation aims to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in medicine in line with the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda to build a world-class healthcare and education system.

In partnership with the Ministry of Education, Abu Dhabi Education Council, Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA), and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Destination Medicine Summit runs from 17 to 19 April 2017 at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Centre at DHCC.

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The opening was attended by a number of VIPs including His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Al Jalila Foundation; HE Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board of the Dubai Health Authority; HE Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg, Member of the Board for Trustees and Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Al Jalila Foundation; HE Khalid Al Shamsi, CEO of DHCA; Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation; DHCC leadership and other prominent healthcare professionals and representatives from the education and healthcare sectors.  The VIP delegation toured the event spread across several exhibits including TechMed and the Medical Garden which featured more than 20 leading healthcare organisations.

Her Excellency Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg, Chairperson of the Board of Directors and Member of the Board of Trustees of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “The summit aims to expose the students to the world of medicine and the rewards of this fulfilling career. Nothing would make us prouder than to see these students join one of our programmes in the future – and become doctors, save lives and give back to their community. That is the essence of Destination Medicine Summit.”

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As the title sponsor, DHCA endorses the possibilities Destination Medicine Summit can provide for the future of healthcare in the UAE. His Excellency Khalid Ahmed Al Sheikh Al Shamsi, CEO, Dubai Healthcare City Authority, said: “The authority is proud to play a role in guiding, motivating and encouraging Emirati youth to pursue careers in medicine. As more Emiratis join the UAE health sector, our country’s health system will benefit from increased capacity in the healthcare workforce. Institutions in Dubai Healthcare City offer several programs in medical education for aspiring healthcare professionals, and a platform such as Destination Medicine helps increase our youth’s interest in the field of medicine. We are delighted to work together with our stakeholders and partners to inspire physicians of tomorrow.”

The students dressed in lab coats and stethoscopes participated in various workshops, interactive panel discussions, inspirational talks, emergency response demonstrations and simulations, and witnessed futuristic medical advancements in healthcare.

In efforts to captivate the imagination and inspire young minds to the possibilities of a future in medicine, TechMed, a high-technology tunnel and one of the summit highlights, showcased innovative medical technologies from leading organisations. On show was the Siemens’ Robotic Advanced X-ray technology (RAX); a BioDigital touch screen of the human body; 3D printing by 3DBee; the UAE Drones for Good Award recipient, Sanad Academy; Medtronic Body Simulator; augmented reality showing the effects of bad lifestyle choices on the human body and other advanced technologies.

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The Khalaf Al Habtoor Medical Simulation Center team from the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences demonstrated a clinical simulation of a person going through anaphylaxis, a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction, and how to medicate.

The Medical Garden features ‘REX’ the Exoskeleton Robot, CPR demonstrations, an ultrasound scan, interactive medical games among other activities. A collection of mobile clinics including Dubai Ambulance, Dubai Dental Clinic and Aster DM Healthcare were displayed at the venue to show the advantages of ‘doctors on wheels’.  A giant interactive human heart exhibit gives students a better understanding of the complexities of heart anatomy.

Speaking at the event were leading UAE physicians and medical pioneers including Dr Manal Taryam, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Dubai Health Authority and CEO of Noor Dubai Foundation; Dr Alawi Alsheikh Ali, Consultant Cardiologist, Mohammed Bin Rashid University; Dr Arif Al Nooryani, Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, CEO & Head of Cardiac Centre Al Qassimi Hospital; Dr Anwar Al Hamadi, Consultant Dermatologist and Dr Entesar Al Hammadi , Director of Arab Board Residency Program at Dubai Health Authority.

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Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, Chief Executive Officer of Al Jalila Foundation, said “Al Jalila Foundation aims to develop a generation of home-grown medical professionals and Destination Medicine Summit is the perfect platform to connect aspiring young minds with leaders in healthcare. We have been impressed by the students’ enthusiasm and the positive results over the years and we hope that this experience will continue to instil the spirit of medical discovery and innovation. Thank you to Dubai Healthcare City Authority and Total for sponsoring this year’s event.”

Destination Medicine Summit is one of many education programmes offered by Al Jalila Foundation to position the UAE to the forefront of medical innovation. The Foundation awards scholarships, both undergraduate and postgraduate, to students showing promise and ability to serve their country in the field of medicine and health sciences. A new generation of Emirati doctors will ensure a sustainable national workforce to support the UAE Vision to be a front runner in education and healthcare.

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