DUBAI: Like any nation, the UAE has witnessed myriad challenges since its unification in 1971, but nothing has come close to what the country has experienced as it fights to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Every aspect of the UAE’s social and economic structure has been dismantled. And yet, never before has the nation come together in such unison to combat a common cause.
Under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, the UAE has taken some of the most advanced measures on a global scale towards country-wide testing and prevention. There are now drive-through testing centers across the UAE, state-of-the-art field hospitals and the most advanced testing and care facilities possible. There is also an unforgettable spirit of unity that is binding the multicultural society of the UAE together.
A recent example that captures such spirit is “I Am Committed,” an initiative launched by the Abu Dhabi Healthcare Company (SEHA) in partnership with social enterprise 81 Designs, which has created over 50,000 wristbands to acknowledge the UAE community’s commitment to the nation’s battle against COVID-19.
“The UAE’s leadership has taken exemplary steps to empower the country’s health care sector and effectively combat the global pandemic with country-wide testing, prevention and preparedness,” said Mohammed Hawas Al-Sadid, the CEO of SEHA Ambulatory Healthcare Services. “These efforts combined with the solidarity demonstrated by various private and public sector entities in the UAE, in support of the government’s initiatives has placed the country among the best in the world in terms of its response to COVID-19.”
As part of the initiative, 81 Designs will locally produce wristbands that will be given to every person who is tested at any of the SEHA-accredited screening facilities in Abu Dhabi. The first batch of 1,600 bands is now ready for distribution.
By wearing a dynamic wristband, the “I Am Committed” project aims to raise awareness of the UAE government’s efforts to minimize the spread of coronavirus. Proud wearers of the wristbands will hopefully encourage others to follow the government’s guidelines and also get tested for COVID-19.
“A unique wristband with a powerful message can serve as a representation of the population standing united with the government in the fight against COVID-19,” said Nadine Maalouf, director of 81 Designs.
“Our vision is to continue to encourage social distancing yet support economic growth through the distribution of the wristbands across all testing centers throughout Abu Dhabi,” she continued. “This initiative is similar to the red Special Olympics wristbands that heads of state, footballers and royals wore to show that they stood behind the games and its participants.”
SEHA has launched a series of other strategic programs to further benefit the nation during this time of crisis. These include the roll-out of 14 drive-through testing facilities across the nation, the Telemedicine Virtual Outpatient Clinic that has completed over 2.8 million virtual consultations, easy access to medication through the launch of a medication home delivery service that has delivered over 35 million prescriptions to patients’ homes.
SEHA has also organized additional deliveries to cars parked outside of Sheikh Khalifa Medical City as well as establishing a dedicated WhatsApp hotline to respond to the community’s coronavirus-related concerns or enquiries.