In celebration of the Year of Zayed, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH) welcomed a delegation from the Government of Abu Dhabi this week. This year celebrates 100 years since the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE.
During the visit, the delegation took time to see the progress being made at The Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children. This centre, the first of its kind, was made possible thanks to a generous £60 million gift from Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, and the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, the wife of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the United Arab Emirates. The Abu Dhabi delegation also met the children staying at the hospital and in celebration surprised them with Year of Zayed themed gifts.
The Zayed Centre for Research is a partnership between GOSH, UCL and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Due to open in 2019, hundreds of clinicians and researchers will come together under one roof to try and find cures and life-changing treatments for children with rare and complex diseases.
Professor Maha Barakat, Senior Advisor at the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, expressed how the commitment to this project is just one example of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed’s legacy.
“One of the values of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is human development where he personally oversaw to the assistance of healthcare to people in need across the world,” she said.
Dr Matthew Shaw, Chief Executive of GOSH, said: “We were honoured to welcome Professor Maha Barakat and senior representatives from Abu Dhabi to Great Ormond Street Hospital today. Sheikh Zayed’s legacy will live on for generations to come in a centre which we see as a beacon of hope for all children suffering from rare diseases.”
Professor Rosalind Smyth, Director of the ICH, said “The Zayed Research Centre will enable us to conduct outstanding research into pioneering treatments, which will help children with rare diseases around the world.”
GOSH sees children from more than 90 countries and specialises in the treatment of children with rare diseases. These include children from the UAE who come to GOSH to be treated for a range of conditions including rare heart and neurological conditions.