Harvard’s New Dubai Research Center to Address Gaps in the Delivery of Health Care


Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery-Dubai will host an inaugural academic symposium examining care delivery gaps in the treatment of major diseases affecting the United Arab Emirates and the broader region. The event, taking place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, will be held in the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Center in Dubai Healthcare City on Sunday, Oct. 25.

While HMS has long been at the forefront of efforts to deepen scientific understanding of disease and create new treatment options, the School is increasingly involved in research on how to strengthen health care systems and develop strategies to help ensure that people receive the care they need where and when they need it, thus decreasing the overall burden of disease.

“The mission of the Center is to promote research and build local and regional capacity for research that optimizes health care delivery and health outcomes. Our focus is on finding ways to ensure that world-class care extends beyond hospitals and clinics into to the communities where patients live,” said Salmaan Keshavjee, director of the Center and Harvard Medical School associate professor of global health and social medicine.

“We are pleased to welcome a world-class institution – the Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery-Dubai to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Center, the seat of medical education and research at Dubai Healthcare City,” said Her Excellency Dr. Raja Al Gurg, Vice-Chairperson and Executive Director, Dubai Healthcare City Authority.

The global healthcare value chain can get stronger only when stakeholders work towards a common agenda, said Dr. Al Gurg. “Our collective commitment will impact outcomes, improve policies and promote the wellbeing of the community. We look forward to seeing the new Center facilitate further growth in these essential areas for the UAE and the region.”

The inaugural symposium, Delivering Health Globally: Examining the Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century, begins Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. UAE time. HMS and other international experts will discuss obstacles and innovative solutions to care delivery. Presenters will focus on diabetes and obesity, surgical care, infectious disease and mental health, as well as on the importance of developing local capacity for research, systems building and care delivery—all topics at the core of the Center’s research and training mission.

The event will include a keynote address by Paul Farmer, the Kolokotrones University Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard and head of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at HMS. Jim Kim, World Bank president, and Jeffrey S. Flier, dean of Harvard Medical School, will also address the meeting by video.

The Center, which was established in 2014, recently opened its headquarters at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Center in Dubai Healthcare City.

Funding for the Center is being provided by a four-year grant from the Dubai Harvard Foundation for Medical Research. Since the Center was established, it has convened international meetings of experts on the delivery of surgical care and treatments for tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, and it has initiated a series of collaborative grant-making programs, providing researchers from the UAE and across the broader region with funding and facilitating research partnerships with faculty at Harvard.


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