Healthcare & Disease Control

“If time is life, it is health that gives time
its value and life its flavour.”
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

MBRGI is keen to address many of the world’s health problems, including combating infectious diseases and providing preventative treatment and educational programmes and campaigns.

The total amount allocated to healthcare and disease control initiatives and programmes reached over AED 224 million, from which 10 million people benefitted around the world.

Both Al Jalila Foundation and Noor Dubai continued programmes to combat infectious diseases; Al Jalila Foundation administered 1.6 million vaccines to treat maternal and neonatal tetanus in 15 countries, along with other programmes, campaigns and initiatives.

For its part, Noor Dubai implemented many remedial and preventative programmes including the provision of treatment for 6.6 million people suffering from the contagious disease of trachoma (granular ophthalmia).

  • Al Jalila Foundation
  • Noor Dubai
AED 224 Million

spent on initiatives in healthcare and disease control in 2016

10 Million Beneficiaries

of healthcare and disease control initiatives across the world in 2016

6.6 Million Patients

treated for trachoma, a disease that causes blindness in 2016

1.6 Million Vaccines

administered for the treatment of maternal and neonatal tetanus in 2016

Advanced Medical Services

Healthcare & Disease Control Initiatives

Healthcare AED 224 MILLION

invested during 2016

beneficiaries 10 MILLION

beneficiaries around the world in 2016

Noor Dubai

Noor Dubai 6.6 MILLION

patients received treatment for trachoma in 2016

Noor Dubai 3,459 VILLAGES

received training to prevent trachoma in 2016

Providing essential and life-transforming healthcare where it is most needed is a central pillar of the work of MBRGI. From raising awareness and dispensing treatment to funding research and educating the next generation of medical specialists, MBRGI reaches out globally to tackle major health problems that blight disadvantaged communities and hinder the progression of the developing world.

During 2016, MBRGI provided a variety of health services through its entities and institutions, dedicated to providing specialised healthcare and infectious disease control, with AED 224 million allocated to health initiatives and programmes that benefitted 10 million people around the world.

Healthy Vision

The burden of vision impairment impacts a nation beyond the suffering of the individual. Patients are further affected economically as it hinders their employment opportunities and the ability to live a normal life. Furthermore, infectious eye diseases, like any infectious diseases, pose a high risk and their elimination provides primary societal benefits.

Since its establishment in 2008, Noor Dubai has been working with international partners to rid the world of the causes of blindness and visual disability by providing treatment and preventative and educational programmes.

Of particular note, Noor Dubai has taken up the challenge of eliminating trachoma by 2020, working in partnership with the US-based non- profit Carter Center and the Ethiopian Ministry of Health in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.

During 2016, Noor Dubai rescued the eyesight of 6,609,093 patients through treatment or surgery. In addition, training was carried out in 3,459 villages to educate people in the prevention of the disease.

In addition to trachoma treatment, the foundation provides mobile eye clinics in Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Niger and Senegal, which screen patients for preventable eye diseases and administer treatment, such as surgery and glasses. Since the organisation was established, Noor Dubai has screened more than 240,000 people, conducted over 24,000 surgeries, and distributed over 55,000 pairs of glasses.

International mobile eye clinics


patients treated in 2016


pairs of glasses distributed in 2016


surgeries conducted in 2016

Lifesaving Treatment

In 2016, Al Jalila Foundation provided 1.6 million vaccines to prevent against maternal and neonatal tetanus across 15 countries, and educated 450 vulnerable children in Lesotho about healthcare issues including HIV/AIDS.

MBRGI's 2016 achievements also focused on providing life-saving heart surgery for children with heart and circulatory diseases. Teams of heart surgeons providing life-saving operations for children in the UAE and across the Arab world were carried out in association with Al Jalila Foundation.

Nabadat, or ‘Heartbeat’, operated in collaboration with Dubai Health Authority, has had a transformative impact on reducing the infant mortality rate, especially in Sudan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tajikistan, where many children suffer from congenital heart defects.

Cancer, diabetes, obesity and mental illness are among other common diseases that affect the Arab world and are the target of MBRGI's healthcare programmes. Al Jalila Foundation invests in research and education in these areas, as well as providing treatment. In 2006, Al Jalila Foundation Research Centre, the UAE’s first independent biomedical research centre, funded more than 55 local research studies and invested more than AED 16.3 million in medical research, study grants and fellowship programmes.


Noor Dubai's UAE mobile eye clinics target rural areas and focus on facilitating eye care for the elderly. The mobile clinics have helped many people who are reluctant to visit hospitals, such as 85 year-old Ahmad bin Rashid Hasban. The Emirati man, who hails from Dibba, Fujairah, carried out the screening programme at the mobile clinic and was referred for further care.


Atef Hammam Tammam is a 39 year-old Egyptian driver who suffered an eye injury following a devastating car accident. After his treatment in Egypt was unsuccessful, his severely impacted vision threatened his ability to work as a driver. He received surgery through Noor Dubai's in-country treatment programme and regained full sight. He is now working as a driver for a family in the UAE.

During 2016, Al Jalila Foundation provided medical treatment to 30,000 patients through various programmes including A’awen, Ana Asma’a and iMcan. A team of 16 people took part in the Mount Kilimanjaro Charity Climb which raises money for iMcan, a programme dedicated to improving mobility for limbless and limb-impaired patients. iMcan, which means ‘mobility’ in Arabic, provided eight amputees with prosthetics between 2013 and 2016, and eight disabled people with specialised wheelchairs.


A highly accomplished Emirati doctor hopes to inspire fellow young Emiratis to enter the field of cardiology after he received support in pursuing his dreams from Al Jalila Foundation.

The foundation sponsored Dr Shehab Al Ansari, to undertake a research fellowship in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, United States, to become an expert in aortic stenosis. Known as the ‘silent killer’, it is the third most common cardiovascular disease in adults. Dr Shehab continues to dedicate his career to mending hearts and saving lives.


Nafisa Suleiman Abubakar, of southeast Sudan, was no older than a year and a half when she was operated on by the Heartbeat team. The baby was suffering from a hole between the ventricles and was unable to gain weight over 3.5kg. This meant the operation was extremely risky, but after four hours of open-heart surgery, the dedicated Heartbeat team could celebrate her complete recovery.

Another vulnerable patient, Marwa Hashim Mohammed Yusuf, had suffered from a congenital defect all her life. Her family could barely afford to sustain their basic needs, let alone medical treatment for the little girl’s condition. When the Heartbeat team operated on Marwa, aged six at the time, it was the first treatment she had ever received for the condition. Despite being a very complex operation, the team managed to save the child’s life.

Al Jalila Foundation


vaccines to treat maternal and neonatal tetanus in 15 countries in 2016

Al Jalila Foundation Research Centre


invested in medical research

“We seek to transform generosity and giving into sustainable and institutional acts that lead to a tangible change in society and make a real difference in people’s lives.”
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

A further 470 people raised AED 1.4 million by taking part in the 7EmiratesRun, a seven-day cross-country challenge that aims to get children with limb deformities back on their feet.

In 2016, 87 events were held to raise awareness of breast cancer, and 20 patients were sponsored for medical treatment through the Brest Friends programme, which was established in 2005 by the UAE’s first female surgeon Dr Houriya Kazim. The initiative offers support for breast cancer patients with limited or no health insurance, transportation or childcare issues, or language and cultural differences.


When Lina El Sherif, a 31 year-old mother of one, was diagnosed with breast cancer it came as a devastating shock, as she was young and lived a healthy lifestyle. The treatment and recovery was physically and emotionally very challenging, even though she was fortunate enough to have health insurance and a good support network. Lina’s experience motivated her to raise funds and offer support to other breast cancer patients who are unable to afford quality treatment for breast cancer. One of the things that helped Lina stay positive and busy during her treatment was crochet. Now she sells her creations to raise funds through her initiative, called ‘Hookin Good’ – all proceeds go to breast cancer treatment and research through the Brest Friends programme.


Thanks to Al Jalila Foundation’s Ana Asma’a programme, a two year-old boy who had never before heard a sound can now hear. Ibrahim KaimKhani, was one year old when his parents discovered he was unable to hear. They were devastated as they already had a child with a hearing disability and knew the difficulties that he would face. Through the Ana Asma’a programme Al Jalila Foundation funded an operation for a cochlear implant to restore Ibrahim’s hearing. The implant is far superior to a hearing aid and allows patients up to 80% improved hearing. Since Ibrahim has now been fitted with the implant at a young age, it will open up a host of opportunities for him, as he will be able to comprehend sound and develop speech in a similar way to a fully hearing child.