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3 Omani doctors win prestigious WHO awards

1 Jun 2024 3 Omani doctors win prestigious WHO awards By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Eight medical professionals from around the world were feted for their unique roles and contributions to public health in their countries and the world at a special ceremony during the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva on Friday.

Of the eight, four recipients are from the Eastern Mediterranean Region of which three are from Oman, a first for a country in the region.

Dr Bader bin Saif al Rawahi

The Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health 2024 was presented to Dr Bader bin Saif al Rawahi, who leads a major public health programme as Director of Communicable Diseases and Control, and manager of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation at Ministry of Health (MoH).

Dr Rawahi has made considerable effort to leave no one behind in the immunisation programme, including migrants, displaced populations and underprivileged people.

Dr Ahmed Hamed Saif al Wahaibi, head of Elderly Care Section in Primary Health Care Department of MoH, and the Chinese Geriatrics Society, China, were jointly awarded the Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah Prize for Research in Health Care for the Elderly and in Health Promotion.

Dr Ahmed Hamed Saif al Wahaibi

Dr Wahaibi is a family doctor who has made an important contribution to integrating high-quality care for older people within primary health care in Oman. He has also played a part in the development of a national programme for people aged 60 years and older that provides screening, assessment and early intervention as part of primary health care.

Dr Jamila Taiseer Yasser al Abri, a renowned obstetrician and gynaecologist with extensive experience and leadership in women’s health, currently Director of Department of Woman and Child Health, was honoured with the Ihsan Doğramacı Family Health Foundation Prize.

Dr Jamila has demonstrated significant leadership in teaching and managing national health programmes, including on breast cancer, mental health and autism spectrum disorders, besides other family health issues. She has played an important role in contributing to the strategic plans for women’s and children’s health as part of Oman’s long-term vision, Health Vision 2050.

Dr Jamila Taiseer Yasser al Abri

The United Arab Emirates Health Foundation Prize went to National Death Registry System, Saudi Arabia.

“I feel so proud to see four experts and institutions from the Eastern Mediterranean Region receive four of the eight highly valued WHO awards,” said Dr Hanan Balkhy, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

“This sends a strong message about how rich the region is in talented, distinguished and knowledgeable people. The awardees’ expertise and achievements, across different health fields, show that we have human assets who contribute to the improvement of regional and global health.

“Heartfelt congratulations and a big thank you to Saudi Arabia’s National Death Registry System and to Dr Rawahi, Dr Wahaibi and Dr Jamila from Oman. You have made us all very proud and filled us with hope and determination.”

The winners were awarded by Dr Edwin Dikoloti of Botswana, President of the 77th World Health Assembly, alongside high-level representatives of the foundations providing the public health awards and prizes and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO and administrator for the prizes.

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