Middle East and North Africa

In Dubai, health message becomes more critical than money

Local church shares the health message through a free health service

Dubai, United Arab Emirates | Gureni Lukwaro and ChanMin Chung, Middle East and North Africa Union

Dubai is not only the biggest and most famous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but it’s also a symbol of wealth. In this affluent metropolitan city, more than 250 people flocked to tents for free health evaluation and lifestyle advice provided by a local Adventist church.

“People have health issues regardless of how much money they have,” said Steven Manoukian, president of the Gulf Field of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. “People are more and more interested in health matters.”

In the country, health awareness and the healthcare sector have increased rapidly alongside lifestyle disorders such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, etc. According to the UAE Healthcare Sector Outlook 2020, the UAE healthcare market is expected to be worth $19.5 billion in 2020.

Manoukian said it is time for our church to serve the community through the Adventist health message.

Reflecting the growing interest in health, beginning in the morning people began to visit the health event at the Holy Trinity Church compound in Dubai on November 24.

“We advertised the event to all communities around us,” said Andy Espinoza, pastor of the Dubai Central Adventist church, “which was how the community members found our health project.”

The one-day health initiative offered a variety of events including a health check, free balloons for children, and a blood donation station for those in desperate need of blood in various hospitals in Dubai.

Visitors had to visit up to seven stations to complete the full range of services offered.

After registration, visitors visited stations to measure their Body Mass Index (BMI), get their cholesterol, glucose and eyes checked, find out their blood type if they didn’t already know and do a fitness test. Finally, at the last station, their results were evaluated by volunteers where they received lifestyle advice to help improve their health and fitness.

The event also served people who could not afford any health evaluations, and church members were able to engage with people from different cultural and religious background.

“It’s an opportunity for us to introduce the people of the city to the healthy lifestyle that are part of our Adventist values,” said Manoukian. “We would like to explore more possibilities in the future that can impact our communities.”