Statements and Webcast
United Arab Emirates
H.E. Mr. Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim, Minister of Health
9 June 2011
- Statement: Arabic (Check against delivery)
HANIF HASSAN ALI AL QASSIM, Minister for Health of the United Arab Emirates, said that, despite the efforts of the international community, AIDS and its virus remained one of greatest health challenges facing the world today, ever since it had emerged 30 years ago. The illness was a humanitarian health threat and an economic threat, especially in less developed countries. International efforts were needed to achieve the objectives of UNAIDS, provide treatment preventing transmission and assist those living with HIV. Statistics showed that 33 million patients suffered from HIV/AIDS, and 30 million people had died since the disease had emerged. Activities must be stepped up, as laid out in the Political Declaration on AIDS. Less developed countries must be helped and provided with resources to mitigate the disease and provide proper treatment to patients suffering from the virus.
Although AIDS and the virus were not a problem in the United Arab Emirates, the country acknowledged the need to pull together efforts and to promote international cooperation and partnership, he said. The Government reiterated its commitment to deal with the problem in the Middle East and the region as a whole. The country had a national strategy to combat the epidemic and the political support to consult with all players, including the World Health Organization and UNAIDS. To control the epidemic and minimize its rates, the country promoted several mechanisms that prevented the illness, such as volunteer blood banks; the use of diagnostic tools so that the illness cannot be transmitted through blood supplies; a programme for those wishing to get married to prevent infection; and programmes promoting behavioural change to prevent the illness. The report prepared by the country’s Ministry of Health in 2010 outlined the situation concerning HIV/AIDS in the country, including care provided to positive individuals. A decree in 2010, further, underlined the need to protect human rights.