Bahrain's bold commitment to healthcare for all is ray of hope amid global coronavirus gloom

Manama, Apr. 7 (BNA): Amid the celebrations of World Health Day, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, "it is vital for all governments to invest in strengthening their health services and to remove the barriers that prevent so many people from using them, so more people have the chance to live healthy lives.”


Highlighting the significance of strengthening health services, the organization issued five calls for action: Accelerate equitable access to COVID-19 technologies between and within countries; Invest in primary health care; Prioritize health and social protection; Build safe, healthy and inclusive neighborhoods; and Strengthen data and health information systems.


Bahrain is one of the few countries where such calls have already been heeded and applied well before WHO issued them.


Healthcare has always been a top priority in Bahrain. The Kingdom has been investing heavily in the health sector to ensure the safety, health, protection and wellbeing of all its citizens, residents and visitors. There is not the slightest hint of discrimination on any ground, and nobody, regardless of their nationality, race, gender, religion, or beliefs should be left behind or out.


Public hospitals have been built in major cities and health care centers have been set up across the Kingdom, within easy reach and easy access. Private clinics have been encouraged to start practice and pharmacies to open, all in accordance with the laws and regulations and under the vigilant oversight of the National health Regulatory Authority.


Health universities and colleges, with impressive curricula, practice and facilities have helped Bahrain and the Gulf region benefit from the high quality and comprehensive healthcare education for surgeons, doctors, nurses and allied health professionals.


When COVID-19 struck, Bahrain was ready to deal with the pandemic, mitigate its fallout and confine its spread. The National Taskforce for Combatting COVID-19 was set up in February 2020 to lead the confrontation under the directives of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.


The ad-hoc multi-ministry national taskforce included a major media component, so that while officials and experts were engaged in a survival fight against the pandemic, there was full commitment to deal with the threats of misinformation and disinformation that would take advantage of the local interest in digital platforms to undermine the state efforts.


The taskforce warned people to take their information only from trusted sources and not to fall for the erroneous and misleading claims disseminated across the world by fame-seekers, conspiracy theory supporters and pretentious know-it-all users.


The taskforce set up a hotline to ensure smooth communication in seven languages, as the Kingdom, in line with its deep-rooted hospitality traditions, is a safe and secure home to foreigners from across the world.


Bahrain used technology through the BeAware app to unify efforts toward mitigating the spread of coronavirus by active contact tracing, new case and recovery updates, test scheduling facility, regulation of the people in-home quarantine, and booking vaccination appointments …


The Kingdom was among the very first countries to enable its citizens and residents to book their appointments for the vaccination and to choose which of the five vaccines available they want to receive. The app also provides an official certificate to those who have been vaccinated.





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