The five year partnership to establish a Griffith Bachelor of Nursing program and build nursing capacity in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi has expanded into Western Region of Al Gharbria whose edges extend between the desert and the sea.

Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven United Arab Emirates (UAE) and accounts for 87% of the UAE’s total area. Often referred to as ‘the Empty Quarter,’ Al Gharbia occupies a vast area, 60% of the total area of the Emirate, much of which is rural remote lands made up of sand dunes.

Local Partners

Griffith’s partnership with the Al-Gharbia Hospitals (AGH) Health System occurs through Professor Sharon Brownie who is Griffith Health’s representative located in Abu Dhabi.

AGH runs several governmental rural clinics including six hospitals and four primary care clinics all focused on the goal to provide excellent health care services to all people in the region.

Tyrannie of distance

Nursing services, led by the area Director of Nursing, Dr Salah Aqtash are fundamental to the achievement of this goal and better use of communication technologies is a priority in overcoming distance barriers faced by these remote health services.

“A key performance indicator recently allocated by SEHA (the Emirates governing health authority) requires AGH to achieve a research and publication output of five peer reviewed articles per annum,” Professor Brownie said.

“Over the past twelve months this partnership has helped establish the committee and is about to move forward to progress initial research applications.”

As capacity builds, efforts will focus on priority health and service delivery issues within the region, including prevention and response to the high levels of road and industrial accidents and growing levels of diabetes.