late Dr. Mahmoud Mohamed Fikri

UAE Awards

Hamdan Award for Honouring Individuals Working in the Field of Medicine & Health
2019-2020

Biography:

Dr. Mahmoud Mohamed Fikri was the first Emirati to hold a high executive position in a global organization affiliated with the United Nations. He was the Regional Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, a position that is the equivalent of Minister of Health for all countries of the region, whose population is about 583 million people, distributed over 23 countries.

Dr Fikri was Assistant Undersecretary for Preventive Medicine at the Ministry of Health from 1996 until 2006, then Assistant Undersecretary for Health Policy Affairs until 2014 and ending with the position of Adviser to the Minister of Health for Health Policy Affairs until the end of 2016, after which he moved, to work as the WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region after his victory in the elections for this prestigious mission. He remained at the top of his work in the organization until he passed away in October 2017.

Dr. Fikri graduated with distinction and first-class honors in 1979 from the Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University- Cairo. In 1984, he obtained a diploma in tropical disease and public health from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. He followed that with a master's degree in dermatology and venereal diseases from Ain Shams University in 1989. In 1999, he acquired his doctorate degree in dermatology and immunology from the University of Bucharest in Romania, in addition to obtaining the membership of the British Royal College of Public Health, the fellowship of the American College of Physicians, and the fellowship of the Pakistan College of Community Medicine.

Dr. Mahmoud Fikri has held several advisory and honorary positions in addition to his positions in the Ministry of Health. He was appointed as a representative of the United Arab Emirates and a spokesman for the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the United Nations and was appointed as an honorary first lecturer at the College of Public Health at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom. He was appointed as a member of several international boards of directors, including the World Health Research Council of the WHO in Geneva, the Board of Directors of the Japan Center for Health Development at the WHO, the Executive Office of the Council of Health Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and the Executive Office of the WHO in Geneva. He was also a member of the permanent committee to follow up the universal periodic report on human rights at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a member of the National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking at the Office of Presidential Affairs, and a member of the United Nations Staff Retirement Committee at the WHO. He was assigned as head of an official medical mission to Yemen to support those affected by the earthquake in Yemen in 1982 and head of the medical mission to the State of Kuwait immediately after liberation, and he was thus awarded a certificate of appreciation from the Ministry of Health in the State of Kuwait.

Achievements

The most important achievements during his career in the Ministry of Health include:

•   2002 Polio eradicated in the UAE and the World Health Organization certificate was obtained, declaring the UAE free of it

•   2007 UAE declared malaria-free by the World Health Organization

•   2010 Preparing the system, rights and responsibilities of people living with HIV (AIDS) for the distinguished Cabinet Resolution

•   2011 Global Achievement Award from the International Council for the Prevention of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, which is allocated to one person or institution per year worldwide, in recognition of his personal efforts and his multiple contributions locally and internationally in helping to get rid of iodine deficiency disorders and malnutrition and declaring the UAE free from it

•   2011 Preparation of national law and regulations for tobacco control

•   2011 Control of most childhood diseases through the implementation of the National Program of Expanded Immunization, which led to a decrease in the infant mortality rate to less than 7 per thousand live births, and thus preventive services took an advanced position within the strategic health priorities adopted by the Ministry of Health

His most important achievement as the Regional Director of the World Health Organization for the Eastern Mediterranean Region include:

•   Laying the foundations for the road map and the WHO plan to combat noncommunicable diseases in the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region

•   Signing an agreement worth $ 8.3 million with the King Salman Relief and Humanitarian Aid Centre to combat the outbreak of cholera in Yemen

•   Contributing to improving the conditions of workers in the WHO regional office and setting up a road map for professional development in addition to raising the level of competencies and improving the quality of coordination, communication and teamwork.

 

Awards and Honors

  • 1990 Award of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum for scientific excellence
  • 2003 United Arab Emirates Health Foundation Prize from the World Health Organization in Geneva
  • 2011 Global Achievement Award from the International Council for the Prevention of Iodine Deficiency Disorders
  • 2011 GCC Health Council Award for the national campaign to combat diabetes in the country
  • In honour of his efforts, a memorial service was held and the meeting room at the organization's headquarters in Cairo was named after him to commemorate his memory.
  • Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates presented an obituary letter to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to express condolences for the UAE’s loss of one of the most prominent experts and inspiring leaders who left eternal imprints in the health sector.
  • In honor of his tireless and pioneering efforts he was rewarded after his death with the Award for the Pioneering Personality of the Year at the Middle East International Conference on Dermatology in Dubai (2018) and the Arab Hospitals Association Award for Pioneers in Health in Muscat (2018).

 

In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Dr. Mahmoud Fikri is awarded Hamdan Award for Honoring Individuals Working in the field of Medicine & Health, for the 2019-2020 term.

 

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