Dubai to conduct fourth comprehensive household health survey

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) today announced that it will conduct the fourth Dubai Household Health Survey (DHHS) in collaboration with Dubai Data & Statistics Establishment, a subsidiary of Digital Dubai. 

2,500 families — both nationals and expatriates — will be part of the comprehensive survey that aims to provide evidence-based data to plan future interventions, plans and policies to further improve the health and wellbeing of the Dubai community.

Surveyors and nurses will visit households to obtain detailed information on issues such as health spending, healthcare utilisation and health status. They will also conduct basic screening free-of-cost.

Fieldwork for the DHHS survey will begin on 10 September. First conducted in 2009, the survey, conducted every five years, is the most comprehensive household health study in Dubai. The survey was also previously carried out in 2014 and 2019.

This year, the Dubai Household Health Survey will cover four main themes: 
• Diseases and chronic health problems (diabetes, blood pressure and obesity)
• Healthy lifestyles (tobacco use, physical activity and healthy food)
• Spending on health (spending on outpatient clinics and hospitals) 
• Quality of health services (satisfaction with the health status and services provided, and periodic examinations)

His Excellency Awadh Seghayer Al Ketbi, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority, said the accomplishments and significant advancements of Dubai’s health sector reflect the high priority the government places on this sector. The health sector is an important aspect of sustainable development and a key contributor to continuous progress. Dubai’s achievements on the health front have positioned it at the forefront of the world’s most advanced cities, he added.

His Excellency Al Ketbi further said the authority's plans and development strategy is grounded in scientific and professional methodology, and a clear vision to address Dubai’s current and future healthcare needs. He noted that the aim of such a comprehensive survey is to provide and utilise evidence-based data to develop interventions, policies and processes aimed at enhancing the health and wellbeing of Dubai residents. The authority appreciates the community’s active participation and cooperation with field teams, who play a crucial role in the survey process. It is through this collective effort that the success of the survey can be achieved, he noted.

His Excellency Younus Al Nasser, CEO, Dubai Data & Statistics Establishment, Digital Dubai, said Dubai is moving forward in its journey to digitalise all aspects of life by leveraging advanced technologies and the solutions they bring to enhance people’s lives and provide an integrated system of exceptional experiences that ensure their wellbeing and happiness.
“Digital Dubai works to strengthen its partnerships with various government entities in the emirate to make the most of the data sector,” HE Al Nasser added. “We strive to provide accurate information and data that empower decision-makers in Dubai and support the government’s strategic plans to elevate the healthcare sector and build a reliable database, which can then drive proactive measures to enhance the healthcare sector’s performance and ensure international benchmarks.”

Afaf BuOsaiba, Executive Director of the Data and Statistics Operations Sector at the Dubai Data & Statistics Establishment, said: “Data has become a fundamental pillar for societies to provide a clear picture of various sectors, most notably, healthcare, covering all opportunities and challenges. This presents realistic data collected and classified in accordance with the highest international standards in the field, meant to enable decision-makers to take necessary actions and address all challenges. Digital Dubai is constantly working to implement this by collaborating with various entities in order to develop and enhance all aspects of life in Dubai, promote smart living in the emirate, and ensure people’s wellbeing and happiness.”

Khaled Al Jallaf, Director of the Research, Studies and Data Analysis Department at the DHA and team leader of the Dubai Household Health Survey, explained that the health survey is a scientific practice utilised periodically by all health systems worldwide. It is recommended by the World Health Organization and the World Bank to gather accurate and verified data regarding the health of individuals, families and society at large. This is achieved by conducting direct field visits to a selected sample of families and individuals, ensuring a representative distribution of the population in the Emirate of Dubai.

Regarding the objectives of the survey, Al Jallaf highlighted that enhancing public health and improving the quality of life for Dubai residents is a priority. He said the survey aims to elevate the level of healthcare services and also establish a global health model to follow through evidence-based data. Al Jallaf added that identifying the needs of the participants will contribute to formulating future plans, policies and interventions for the health sector in Dubai.

Additionally, DHA aims to further improve the healthcare system, update health indicators for the Dubai community and strengthen research and data collection. This will be achieved through the collection of field data and information that accurately reflects the state of healthcare in the emirate.

The authority has made efforts to simplify the procedures of the field health survey in order to save participants' time and effort. The process will involve simple steps such as filling out an electronic questionnaire and then measuring blood sugar, blood pressure, and lipid profile, as well as recording height and weight. 

Al Jallaf emphasised that the survey provides an opportunity for participants to become aware of their health conditions and take appropriate action to enhance their health.
He called on members of the community to participate in the study, which will contribute invaluable data that will help further improve the health and wellbeing of the population of Dubai.