Introducing the 2018 Public Health Think Tank

Public health is a holistic cohort of organisations, individuals, interventions, policies and practices aimed at improving the health, safety and overall well-being of the community. The Public Health Think Tank is a two-day conference that provides an intellectually stimulating platform for university students from around the UAE to join forces in tackling the most pressing health issues faced by the country today. Now in its fifth iteration, this conference staunchly believes in the collaborative potential and fresh perspectives that young minds bring to the table in order to devise original, feasible, and effective public health interventions.

Previous conference topics have covered issues ranging from road traffic incidents to obesity in adolescents and oral and dental health. As such, all of these issues have always nestled in a political, social, legal and economic realm. This year’s topic traverses no fewer fields in its scope: Cardiovascular Diseases with a focus on Hypertension.  

Cardiovascular diseases are defined as “a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels”. Several studies have revealed that cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of mortality in the UAE, an accurate reflection of the deadly statistics of CVD’s worldwide as well. There are several risk factors with varying severity, including diabetes, obesity and hypertension, among others. In order to determine the health statuses of individuals suffering from CVD’s, the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi launched a screening program by the name of ‘Weqaya’ to better understand the prevalence and epidemiology of the disease(s). Another ongoing initiative to identify the associations between risk factors and several non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, is the UAE Healthy Future Study that employs 20,000 UAE nationals in a prospective cohort study design.

PHTT 2018 aims to challenge participants to critically and creatively assess the status quo of cardiovascular disease, paying special attention to hypertension, covering aspects that range from diet to stress factors. Guided by talks from seasoned experts and mentored by group facilitators, delegates will work in teams to devise and present original public health interventions by the conclusion of the conference.

The conference will be hosted at New York University Abu Dhabi, located on Saadiyat Island, on November 2-3, 2018. To stay in touch for more information on registration, logistics, and speakers, you can join our mailing list, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Instagram!