Several members of the RWH team established and led the Weqaya National Programme in the United Arab Emirates to prevent, diagnose and manage cardiometabolic risk factors and chronic disease including cancers, mental health and respiratory disorders.
The National programme was embedded into society through multi-sector engagement and working groups, and community ownership and engagement, thereby employing both a top-down and bottom-up approach.
Components of the programme included both Clinical and Community initiatives, together with numerous areas of Research and Insights.
Clinical initiatives included:
Population-wide screening for risk factors and disease markers
Call centre to proactively provide health coaching and referral for clinical support
Patient-centred medical records and web portal, with clear personalised information on risk levels, and an algorithm that provided cutting-edge tailored interventions including lifestyle changes supported by dedicated nutrition and physical activity providers, specialist clinical follow-up, disease management services, education and more.
A range of clinical service development including clinical guideline development (informed by Weqaya data), cancer screening programmes, cancer data registry, networks of clinics and providers dedicated to prevention and Weqaya, amongst many more intiatives.
Community initiatives were developed with other government and the private sector and included:
Spaces for a broader range of physical activity, such as cycling routes, free bicycle hire, ladies only days for venues etc
A Weqaya healthy food labelling system developed with food scientists and deployed by numerous food outlets in the UAE which is still operational today.
School canteen nutritional guidelines and restrictions to fast-food outlets in school perimeters
National Health Promotion Campaigns and health initiatives.
Research and Insights:
The Weqaya programme generated data that led to the most comprehensive and reliable insights on the epidemiology of chronic diseases in the UAE. These led to several academic publications in high tier journals in addition to being published in several articles by the Economist Magazine and Economic Intelligence Unit. Furthermore, Weqaya has been used as a case study of best practice for discussions at high level meetings including the WHO and UN.