Thanks to their Waterfalls initiative, the United Arab Emirates are consolidating their relations with the intelligentsia in Africa. An initiative crowned by the Parliamentary Assembly prize for the Mediterranean.
On Thursday, November 18, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) received the Parliamentary Assembly for the Mediterranean (PAM) award. A trophy that rewards people and institutions working for peace and economic and social cooperation. It is thanks to the Waterfalls initiative, launched in 2020 by the UAE Ministry of Opportunities, that the UAE has access to this award.
The Waterfalls Initiative is a global project to empower medical executives around the world. This involves free distance medical training, offered by 140 experts, from 67 medical institutions in 14 health sectors.
A timely project, with the pandemic Covid-19 crisis, which exposed the fragility of health services, even in the most developed countries. In Africa, containing Covid-19 has been a significant challenge, especially as the continent is still facing several diseases it has been fighting for a long time, such as malaria, HIV and Ebola.
Waterfalls has therefore benefited many doctors, nurses and health technicians, in Africa in particular. Enough to place the Emirates at the center of health diplomacy, by equitably training workers in the health sector in Africa.
"Dedication to international education"
Interior Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, on behalf of the UAE, received the PAM Prize in Rome. “I would like to thank the Parliamentary Assembly for the Mediterranean, which works every day for the unity of peoples, for this award. We are here today to affirm our full commitment to the cooperation and assistance of all those in need, regardless of their nationality, race or religion, ”he said.
For his part, WFP Secretary General Sergio Piazzi thanked the UAE for "the commitment and passion that have allowed the rapid development of this initiative", which he said demonstrates a dedication to "the international education ”.
In fact, in just over a year, the Waterfalls initiative has already surpassed its initial objective of providing continuing education for one million healthcare executives. At the African level, beneficiaries mainly work in dentistry, pharmacy and nutrition. A few dozen of them are also specialized in oncology and virology. Two health sectors in which Africa has a significant need for human resources.
Waterfalls, a boon in the face of health emergencies in Africa
While cancer affects Africans far less than nationals of other continents, the disease looms large in Africa. As a result, cancer patients rarely receive adequate care.
As for analysis and virology, on the contrary, it is of capital importance in the African health sector. The sporadic resurgence of Ebola cases in West Africa, the severity of the spread of HIV especially in Central and East Africa, and the spread of malaria across the continent, are urgent problems. And the continent is looking to improve the skills of specialists in these diseases. What the UAE initiative allows.
But, above all, in the face of the vaccine apartheid that Africa is currently undergoing, and since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, Waterfalls is an inspiring initiative. The panic that still shakes the health sector in African countries today is partly due to the lack of resources, but also to the lack of human resources in hospitals and health institutions.