Public Health Research Center


Members:

College of Dentistry
Dr. Manal Awad
Dr. Vellore Gopinath
Dr. Betul Rahman
Dr. Sheela Abraham
Dr. Nadia Khalifa
Dr. Nizam Abdullah
Dr. Suhail Al Amad

College of Pharmacy
Dr. Sanah Enayah
Dr. Osama Ibrahim

College of Health Sciences
Dr. Wegdan Bani Issa
Prof. Reyad Shaker
Dr. Nabeel Al-Yateem
Dr. Abeer Ahmed 
Dr. MoezAlIslam Ezzat Faris
Dr. Fatemah Mohamed
Dr.Nazik Eltayeb
Prof. Amal Attia

College of Medicine
Amal Hussein


1.0 General Information
The proposed Centre for Public Health aims to provide leadership in health promotion, disease prevention and elimination of health disparities in UAE population through research that generates new knowledge to drive effective education, practice, and policy.

The Colleges associated with this center are Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The collaboration of faculty members from these colleges provides a unique opportunity to develop effective multidisciplinary preventive health care programs tailored to the health needs of UAE population, and increase the likelihood of having a significant impact on the population's well-being and quality of life. Specifically, the Centre will be responsible for the conduct of research that focuses on health needs/problems (obesity, cardiovascular diseases and oral diseases) known to affect the UAE population. 

An important aspect of the development of The Centre for Public Health is to become a collaborating WHO center in health promotion and patient education, this will promote the center as the credible voice in research and professional training in the effectiveness of health promotion and public health interventions in the Gulf Region. The Centre for Public Health will strive to establish formal collaboration with stakeholders in UAE and the region in order to achieve a broad spectrum of research opportunities maximize use of existing resources and avoid duplication. Through this collaboration, common areas of interest could be identified, and action steps for developing strategic relationships with other healthcare and continuing education centres in the UAE could be pursued.

2.0 The Need for this Centre
The overall approach to the development of the Centre for Public Health at UoS is in line with the UAE national health strategy for 2021 "The UAE will intensify its fight against lifestyle diseases, where early intervention to change habits can dramatically improve citizens' prospects for quality of life", which the proposed research strategy and professional training in public health aim to capture. Currently, research conducted in the field of public health in the UAE does not offer immediate benefit to UAE society. Accordingly, there is a need to develop cutting edge research that will attract the interest of health care professionals and other researchers in the UAE, the gulf region as well as, internationally.

Unlike other educational institutes in the UAE, the UoS Medical & Health Sciences Campus that comprises the Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Health Sciences provide a unique opportunity for trans-and multidisciplinary research collaborations in the area of public health that will have considerable impact on the community and its health care needs.

The focus of this center includes applied population research, therefore there is a need to plan Community-Based Participatory Research which is a partnership approach to research that is designed to engage the stakeholders (community members, organization representatives) and

academic researchers who need to act on the results of the research as full partners throughout the process.

This center will also serve as a platform for communication and exchange of knowledge and information with other organizations, such as, the Ministry of Health, hospitals, other research center in the UAE and the gulf region. This will not only benefit the targeted research but could also provide professional training opportunities through seminars and workshops for health care providers that need to promote the health and wellbeing in the community. This center will also offer continuing education courses that are tailored to address program policy development, planning programs; evidence based health care and basic public health sciences.

Recently the Ministry of Health in the UAE called for post graduate training in the field of public health with special emphasis on prevention of disease. Accordingly, the possibility for future development of post graduate training in public health could be considered

An important focus of the Molecular and Translational Research domain at the University of Sharjah is translation of science into sustainable health improvements and transforming scientific discoveries to community impacts in Sharjah and UAE communities. This could be achieved through epidemiological studies that address the impact of chronic diseases (cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases) on morbidity and mortality rates in the UAE and fulfill the goals and objectives of the proposed center.

3.0 Mission
The mission of this center is to improve the public's health through patient -oriented and population- based research aimed at prevention of disease, promotion of health, well-being and quality of life of the nation. Collaborations with the Ministry of Health and various international organizations are emphasized to ensure that the findings of research are relevant to, and applied in, public health policy. We also aim to enhance the knowledge and skills of health care professionals through continuing education and technical assistance.


4.0 Goals
The Centre for Public Health goals are to implement research, educational training and community service to strength knowledge regarding UAE population health. The centre is committed to a multidisciplinary approach to public health to raise awareness about important health issues and work with communities to develop preventive health programs that address health needs of UAE population.

5.0 Objectives
5.1 Public Health Research

  1. To promote health and prevent disease through addressing health determinants.
  2. To produce valid & comparable health information based on a repeated UAE epidemiological surveys.
  3.  To develop strategies for preventing and exchanging information on non-communicable disease threats
  4.  To collect and analyze data on health status and care delivery for patients with chronic diseases.
  5. To reduce the impact of morbidity & disability related to oral diseases such as oral cancer and edentulism
  6. To develop estimates of the prevalence of chronic diseases in the UAE population.
  7. To promote healthy living among children and adolescents through implementation of smoking prevention and reduce obesity at the community level.
  8. Assessment of pharmacist role in health promotion and smoking cessation
  9. Assessment of medication literacy in the UAE
 

5.2 Public Health Services:

  1. Organize community partnership to identify health issues.

    Identify health risks and determine needed health services.
  2. Inform, educate and empower people about health issues
  1. Health promotion and education activities designed to reduce health risks and promote better health
  2. Health communication activities such as media advocacy.Partnership with schools and other organization to promote reinforce health promotion programs
  1. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility and quality of personal and population-based health services
  1. Determine the effectiveness of health programs based on the analysis and review of population status, and services utilization.
  2. Provide necessary information to shape programs to improve efficiency and effectiveness.


 

 5.3 World Health Organization Collaboration Centre
This center could also serve as a WHO collaborative center for health promotion and patient education. This could enable the center to achieve the following:

  1. Strengthen GCC countries capacity to evaluate the effectiveness of health promotion programs and public health interventions.
  2. Stimulate and strengthen research and knowledge transfer focused on health promotion in schools 
  3. Develop capacity by providing unique training and education opportunities in health promotion for researchers, students, community members, policy-makers, and practitioners at national level and GCC countries. 

5.4 Contribution of the Centre to Community Services

  1. Challenges that face health professionals include:

a. How to empower people to adopt healthier lifestyle and healthy behaviors?

     1.To inform stakeholders and policy makers about important health issues of the nation.

The proposed Centre for Public Health will pioneer the collaboration of mass communication and public health to provide the public and policy makers with valuable information about relevant health care issues. This collaboration has been successfully implemented in other countries and was found to be an effective method of delivery of health care information to the public. This resulted in behavior change, and enhanced knowledge about risk factors that are associated with common diseases in the communities. Such collaboration can also serve as a venue for health promotion and disease prevention.

     2.Undergraduate students' projects in the area of public health could be designed to address issues relevant to underserved groups in Sharjah (children with special needs, geriatric patients). Results could be communicated to families, health care authorities to improve the health status of these groups.

Centre for Public Health

1.Research Groups

1.Oral Health Research Group
(Coordinator: Dr. Manal Awad)
2. Nutrition & Food Science Research Group
(Coordinator: Prof. Reyad Shaker
3. Health Promotion Research Group
(Coordinator: Dr. Wegdan Bani Issa)

2.Research Projects

External Funding

1.The prevalence of Tooth erosion in Arab Populations (PI: Dr. Manal Awad)
Funded by University of Sharjah
2. The Relationship  of  Quality of Sleep with Early Markers of Diabetes mellitus Type 2 and Cardiovascular Diseases (PI: Dr. Wegdan Bani Issa).
3.Effect of Different Exercise Intensities on Coagulation factors & selected cardiovascular parameters in postmenopausal women. (PI: Dr. Abeer Ahmed).
4.Elucidating the role of obesity as a risk factor for periodontal disease in children age 12-13 years (PI: Dr.Vellore Gopinath)
5.Effect of an asthma certificate program on community pharmacists management of asthma in the UAE (PI: Dr. Sanah Hassan).
6.Food safety Risk assessment skills of public & private food safety controllers in Sharjah (PI: Dr.Nazik Eltayeb).
7.Scoliosis in UAE school children (PI: Dr. Fatma Mohamed) .

Prepared by:
Dr. Manal Awad