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Eye of Riyadh
Eye of Riyadh
Healthcare | Tuesday 29 January, 2019 12:30 am |

Inaugural Global Health Pioneer Awards launched in Dubai

Held under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Tolerance of UAE, and President of UAE Genetic Diseases Association, the first Global Health Pioneer Awards recognised those at the forefront of the healthcare industry during a glittering ceremony yesterday evening (27th January).

Held in Dubai at the Etihad Museum, the illustrious evening honoured some of healthcare’s most esteemed and noteworthy figures with more than 200 distinguished guests.

The event, held in partnership with Italy’s leading private hospital group, Gruppo Ospedaliero San Donato (GSD), UAE Genetics Disease Association and Arab Health, was founded by Kamel Ghribi, Chairman of GK Investment Holding Group and Chairman of GSD Healthcare, and Paolo Rotelli, President of Gruppo Ospedaliero San Donato.  

“The Global Health Pioneer Award has been established to celebrate the dedication, innovation and commitment of healthcare leaders of the country, while also recongnising the vital link between the UAE and Italy while also playing an essential role in supporting the UAE national agenda for healthcare,” said Ghribi.

The 2019 edition of the awards were dedicated to the field of genetics, recognising the outstanding efforts of individuals and orgnaisations working towards innovation and advancements in the field of genetics.    

Those recognised on the evening included Dr Tawfik A M Khoja from Saudi Arabia under the category Pioneer with Most Outstanding Contribution towards Care and Preventive Health service towards children and families living with Genetic Disorders.

UAE’s Ismahane El Ouafi was recognised as a leader in the category Pioneer Woman Scientist/Physician. Other UAE winners on the evening included Dr Sumaya Al-Bloushi, Professor Alawi Alsheikh-Ali, the Wekaya program, Tobacco Control Programme and Haykal Media.

Incorporating the key pillars of the Year of Tolerance, including interaction and equal opportunities within the country, several international members of the healthcare community were recognised. George Stephen Hayes from the US, Tiziana Fiorini and Alessandro Frigiola, Giulio Gallera, Luigi Naldini and Professor Silvia Cirri from Italy and Professor George Nara from Japan, amongst others, also won awards on the evening.

“The award is designed to recognise pioneers worldwide, strengthening the value of Dubai as a worldwide platform and to generate exchanges from a global uptake of the innovations and humanitarian approaches that fuel the search for improving quality and equality in healthcare,” added Ghribi.    

GSD is Italy’s leading private hospital group and among the largest in Europe. The Group’s model is centred around the patient and combines clinical, academic and research excellence to provide the very best tailor-made and innovative care to everyone. The company opened its first office in Dubai Healthcare City in 2017.

Explaining why Dubai was selected as its first overseas office, Ghribi said: “Dubai can be reached in three hours by plane by almost one-third of the world’s population, and in seven hours by two-thirds. It is easier to bring the world to Dubai than it is to Milan and this is key for developing markets such as China and Africa.”

A full list of Global Health Pioneer Award of winners can be found below:

The Pioneer with Most Outstanding Contribution towards Care and Preventive Health service towards children and families living with Genetic Disorders

Dr. Tawfik A M Khoja (Saudi Arabia)


Pioneer in healthcare transformation

Maryam Al Jalahma (Bahrain)

Prof. George Joji Hara (Japan)

Mr Anders Lonnberg (Sweden)


Pioneer woman scientist or physician

Dr. Maha Ahmed Ali Al Mozaini (KSA)

Ismahane El Ouafi (UAE)

Prof Silvia Cirri (Italy)


Pioneer researcher or Physician

Luigi Naldini (Italy)

Professor Alawi Alsheikh-Ali (UAE)

Dr. Naif Ahmad M  Almontashiri (Saudi)


Pioneer Nurse

Tiziana Fiorini (Italy)

Dr. Sumaya Al Bloushi (UAE)



Pioneer NGO/ personality contributing toward improving the quality of life

Association Bambini – Cardiopatici Nel Mondo- Prof Alessandro Frigiola (Italy)

Purple – Mike Adams (UK)

Advancement Initiative for medicine and science – Alireza Haghighi (USA)


Pioneer Innovative research Institution

Arabian Gulf University- H.E Dr. Khalid Abdulrahman N.Al Ohaly (Bahrain)

DEFTA partner USA


Pioneer community project in promoting a healthy lifestyle for future generation

Tobacco Control Program -MOH

Lifestyle Clinic - DHA

Weqaya Program - HAAD


Pioneer personality/organization demonstrating leadership and commitment towards health needs and assistance of refugees or migrants

Medecins Sans Frontieres - Clara Nordon


Pioneer media program or personality

Sustainable Health – Assiha Al Mostadama-Sonitta Nader (France)

Haykal Media- popular Science (UAE)

Dr, Mohammad Nabeel Eissa Alsafi (Kuwait)


Special Prize

George Stephen Hayes (U.S.)

Caption one: Winners from the inaugural Global Health Pioneer Awards


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