HE Dr. Bushra Al Mulla, Executive Director of the Community Development Sector at the Department of Community Development , participated on Wednesday 20th of May as a guest of honor and speaker amongst other elite international speakers and experts in the last webinar session of the webinar Series "Equity and Access in Times of Pandemic" launched By "World Enabled" in early March 2020 aiming at mobilizing cities to develop immediate inclusive responses and address the challenges faced by people of determination and seniors during the current global pandemic.
This last session titled "Build Back Better: Defining the new normal for people with disabilities and older persons in local pandemic response"concluded with a roadmap including actions and recommendations for an inclusive pandemic response based on lessons learnt globally.
H.E Al Mullahighlighted the UAE government efforts and measures to support and protect people of determination and seniors during COVID-19 by ensuring access to healthcare, education, mental health and psycho-emotional support.
H.E. Added: “The COVID-19 outbreak impacted persons of determination and their families in various ways and has both short and long-term implications on them with the impact on accessing the rehabilitation and support services that are essential to have healthy and independent lives, and the impact on their mental health including their families’ mental and psycho-emotional status.” Adding to that senior citizens faces implication of loneliness for those who lives alone and that could impact their mental health specifically those seniors with chronic illness and disability conditions.
H.E Al Mulla ensured that: “the government in the UAE and in Abu Dhabi took prompt measures to ensure meeting the needs for people with determinations and senior citizens with some policy actions while ensuring that all needs are met through various programs and initiatives”.
H.E concluded “The Department of Community Development is keen to join World Enabled, and engage with people of determination, disability organizations and service providers to establish an integrated and holistic inclusive pandemic response scheme considering the diverse needs of people of determinationand their families and informed by data and evidence-based practices, and in doing so, contributing to the social protection of people of determination and all vulnerable groups ”