In the UAE, approximately 4,500 new cases of cancer are reported in a year. In 2012, cancer was the third leading cause of deaths in Abu Dhabi. The UAE is determined to bring down cancer fatalities by nearly 18 per cent by 2021. Reducing the number of deaths due to cancer is one of the key performance indicators of the pillar of world-class healthcare of the UAE National Agenda.
According to a 2011 report released by the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (PDF), the top five cancers in males are:
- Brain cancer.
In females, the top five cancers are:
Ministry of Health and Prevention holds breast cancer screening programme regularly.
Department of Health-Abu Dhabi recommends people to undergo screening regularly for various types of cancers as explained below:
| Cancer type
|| Primary population group
|| Screening test and frequency
| Colon and rectum cancer
Men & Women
Age: 40-75 years
Colonoscopy, every 10 years
Stool test, every 2 years
| Breast cancer
Age: 40 years and above
Every 2 years
Age: 25 -65 years
Every 3-5 years
Source: Department of Health website
Read the Department's of Health tips on screening for
Read the Department's of Health standards for
Amongst government facilities, Tawam Hospital in Al Ain treats cancer patients.
As of 2021, 11.809 per cent of the UAE's population was affected with diabetes. Reducing the prevalence of diabetes, is one of the key performance indicators of the pillar of world-class healthcare of the UAE National Agenda 2021.
The indicator measures the number of people between the age of 20 and 79 with diabetes in the UAE, as a proportion of the total population.
Diabetes screening initiative
In line of the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s National Strategy for Fighting Diabetes 2009-2018, It has launched different initiatives aiming to reduce the prevalence of diabetes from 19.3 per cent to 16.28 per cent by 2021 by placing the patient at the centre of diabetes management.
Diabetes Screening and Professional Healthcare Education programme is one of the initiatives aimed at providing better medical care to diabetic patients.
The key objectives of the program include:
- screening of 10,000 high-risk individuals
- training 90 nurses based on the Johnson and Johnson Diabetes Institute (JJDI) curriculum.
Read more about UAE's efforts to manage diabetes
A certain percentage of population of the UAE including nationals and resident expatriates are battling autism. There are several autism centres that offer support to the patients and their family members in dealing with this. The centres also provide training and rehabilitation services. Some of the autism centres in the UAE are:
Read this complete guide on autism from the Ministry of Community Development.
According to a news report in 2012, 75 out of 1000 babies born in the UAE suffer from a birth defect, which is mostly of genetic origin. Most scientists and researchers have attributed marriages between close relatives as the major cause of genetic disorders.
As per another news report of 2013, the UAE Genetics Diseases Association estimates that there may be more than 400 genetic diseases in the country. The report adds that genetic disorders are the fourth-highest cause of deaths in the UAE and that the UAE is ranked sixth among 193 countries in terms of prevalence of birth defects, mainly due to genetic causes.
Centre for Arab Genomic Studies aims to prevent genetic disorders in Arab countries by taking advantage of modern science and technology in human genetics. It does so by identifying disease-causing genes in the Arab population, raising public awareness about the diseases and addressing the ethical, legal and social issues that may arise from genetic applications besides achieving other complementing objectives.
In order to prevent further cases of genetic disorders or other disorders arising in offsprings of marriages between close relatives and transmission of contagious diseases, a pre-marriage mutual check is mandatory for residents and citizens who wish to get married in the UAE. Read about pre-marriage mutual check in Abu Dhabi.
Genetics Centre at Dubai Health Authority also offers services in prevention, diagnosis and management of genetic disorders.
Updated on 09 Mar 2023