ABU DHABI, 29th january 2016 (WAM) – Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development opened today the 4th International Child and Family Behavioural Health Conference, which is organised by the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC).
Sheikh Nahyan delivered the conference’s keynote speech in which he said the UAE, under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is steadily pursuing innovation in improving all aspects of the health of our families and their children and striving to employ the most advanced technologies and to implement the most effective treatments and cures.
he added that Abu Dhabi is moving forward with ambitious plans to strengthen medical services available to children and families, saying that the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahayan, strongly supports initiatives that expand access to all aspects of health care, promote excellence in services, and encourage partnerships with leading medical centers around the world.
Text of Sheikh Nahyan’s full speech follows: Good Morning, Ladies and Gentlemen: Welcome to Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates. We are pleased that you have chosen to hold the 4th International Child and Family Behavioral Health Conference in a city and a country that share your concerns and your resolve to improve the quality of life for so many in the global community.
Your conference brings together a truly international group of specialists and practitioners in various areas of child and family behavioral health. Each of you has world-class experience in research and clinical practice.
I am pleased that you are offering a bilingual program. That enlightened feature of the conference will open opportunities for many who might otherwise be excluded from full participation.
Ladies and gentlemen, I commend you for recognizing the need to continuously learn about the latest developments in wholesome care for children and their families. I see from the conference program that you will address a broad range of issues related to behavioral health, from autism and attention deficit disorder to medication, substance abuse, and trauma.
Certainly those are critical and urgent topics for our world. The presence of such an array of eminent participants demonstrates that child and family behavioral health is a global issue of great complexity. Your discussions will set the foundation for increased collaboration and continuous professional development that will drive improvements in the quality of life for us all.
Ladies and Gentlemen: It is now quite clear that a high quality of life in any society is dependent on the overall good health of its residents, especially its children and their families.
The quality and extent of a society’s treatment and support of children and their families indicate the nobility of that society. There are growing public expectations for advanced diagnostic and treatment services. There are increased expectations for competent health care providers.
The key to success is the skill, the commitment, and the compassion of all health care professionals. Success also requires relevant research, quality assurance and accountability, state-of-the art diagnostic centers, hospitals and clinics, improved health literacy and awareness, and, where appropriate, the accelerated use of advanced technology.
Around the globe, a great deal has been accomplished on all of these fronts. Yet research still shows that many children and many families do not receive the quality health care they need.
Too frequently the diagnosis and treatment of behavioral problems lags behind the standard in other areas because the early signs of behavioral issues are either under-diagnosed or missed completely.
But it is increasingly evident that issues related to behavioral health are not only a matter of diagnosis and treatment, but also of economic and social conditions. Conferences like this one emphasize that improvements in a healthy lifestyle, family awareness and participation, partnerships with schools and media outlets, and effective educational campaigns belong in the matrix of child and family behavioral health promotion. It is, therefore, a critical challenge for you who work in the field to determine strategies that will motivate families to learn about behavioral health issues and to practice appropriate preventive and treatment measures.
Here in the United Arab Emirates, under the wise leadership of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahayan, our goal is to be innovative in improving all aspects of the health of our families and their children. We strive to employ the most advanced technologies and to implement the most effective treatments and cures. Abu Dhabi, in particular, is moving forward with ambitious plans to strengthen medical services available to children and families. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahayan, strongly supports initiatives that expand access to all aspects of health care, promote excellence in services, and encourage partnerships with leading medical centers around the world. Your conference is certainly an embodiment of those efforts.
I express my appreciation to the organizers of this conference for preparing these engaging sessions that will advance your understanding of all issues that surround child and family behavioral health. I encourage you to continue your professional efforts to learn and keep abreast of the latest practices, to build partnerships with your colleagues in the region and beyond, and to inform a public that needs your professional insight.
I am hopeful that your discussions will continue to advance child and family behavioral health as an important field for education, research, and practice in the UAE and around the world.
Thank you all for your dedication, for your competence, and for your hard work. I trust that you will find this conference to be both productive and professionally satisfying.
I look forward to seeing the results of your deliberations put into practice.