Dubai Government issues the guiding principles to regulate services for autism

DUBAI, The Government of Dubai has issued a framework of guiding principles to enhance the quality of health services provided to children and adolescents of determination – particularly individuals with Autism spectrum disorder – from birth to the age of 18.

This endeavour comes in alignment with the objectives of the Inclusive Health Policy, a programme within the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020, as part of the ‘My Community … A City for Everyone’ initiative which aims to transform Dubai into an inclusive city for people of determinations, and promotes monitoring their health, protecting their rights, and improving their quality of life.

The ” My Community … A City for Everyone’ initiative was launched in 2014 by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, under the supervision of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People of Determination and the leadership of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The initiative is based on several programmes focused on creating an inclusive society to guarantee people of determination a better opportunity for social inclusion, protection, healthcare, education, and future employment.

The Higher Committee continues to follow up with the various stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020.

Dr. Amna Al Mazmi, Director of Policy and Strategies for Social Development at the General Secretariat of the Dubai Executive Council, said, “The Inclusive Health Policy, one of the pillars of Dubai Disability Strategy 2020, provides key factors for enhancing the services provided to people of determination. The guiding principles adopted today – which serve as a basis for the General Clinical Standards – represent the first step towards the development of the necessary protocols for care and rehabilitation services of children and adolescents with Autism spectrum disorder, with the aim of ensuring better opportunities for social inclusion, education, and future employment prospects for all.”

“The guiding principles allow for consistency in early intervention methods and policies; healthcare protocols; and the basics of assessing the quality of services provided by specialists and professionals to ensure quality is consistent across different facilities. The principles also will ensure improving the performance of specialists given that their training will be based on the new set of standards. Moreover, the principles offer guidance to parents and caregivers, which will help them, realise best practice in diagnosis and treatment methods.”

Dr. Manal Taryam, CEO of the Primary Healthcare (PHC) Sector at Dubai Health Authority and chair of the inclusive health taskforce for the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020, stated, “The Authority is working to ensure that people of determination are integrated into a high-quality healthcare system. The aim is to promote health programmes that are based on equality between people of determination and others, and to overcome all barriers that might hinder delivering healthcare services to people of determination, while ensuring high quality service delivery standards, accompanied by clear and specific performance indicators to monitor, track and evaluate the level of services.”

Omran added, “DHA has additionally worked with a specialised team of partners across the government entities, the private sector and international experts to develop early intervention protocols. The early intervention phase targets children of determination from birth, which helps develop their capabilities, empower them and increase their access to education.”

Dr. Ammar Albanna, Adolescent Psychiatrist and the Head of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre of Excellence at Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital in Dubai, and the lead project manager to the project, said, “In addition to the expected impact it will hold on children and adolescents, the principles outlined will be the basis for the clinical protocols, and will significantly assist parents and caregivers. Parents will be supported and provided with the necessary skills for early detection of disability. Also, it will enable parents to better evaluate the services offered to their children who are on the spectrum and be able to properly follow up on the progress of their children’s treatment.”

Dr. Albanna added, “The adoption of the principles outlined supports the areas of research and development, which will ensure Dubai leads in the development of services for people of determination.”


Source: Emirates News Agency

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