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The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not only the absence of disease or illness. Public health then, is an extension of this concept into the public sphere- as a part of the larger UAE community, we must recognize not only the responsibility that each one of us has in promoting health in our society, but the opportunity to be an agent of change for it.

This is the objective of the Public Health Think Tank: to creatively respond to the public health needs of the UAE, by bringing together university students from across the nation in a two-day, student-centered conference. This year, the conference will focus on the topic of oral and dental health.

At a global scale, nearly 100% of adults have oral cavities, and 15–20% of middle-aged (35-44 years) adults suffer from severe gum disease. In the UAE,  a study of 5-year-olds recorded a mean dmft (decayed missing filled teeth) of 5.1, compared to values of 1.68 in Sudan and 0.1 in Tunisia.

The PHTT is an immersive experience in public health, where selected delegates attend workshops given by distinguished guest speakers, and form multidisciplinary teams to produce an intervention strategy to road traffic incidents in the UAE. The conference culminates with the presentation of each team’s strategies to a panel of judges, who evaluate the proposals based on feasibility, originality and effectiveness.

We are very happy to officially announce that this year, the conference will be hosted by New York University Abu Dhabi, and will take place from 3-4 Nov 2017 on its campus in Saadiyat Island. If you are interested, please save the date!

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