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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The hospital, where Sheikh Mohamed was himself born, was renamed Kanad Hospital this week as a tribute to the Kennedys.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has met the family of two American doctors who brought modern healthcare to Emiratis six decades ago.
He met the children and grandchildren of Dr Pat and Dr Marian Kennedy who came to the UAE in 1960 and set up Oasis Hospital in Al Ain, making it the first medical facility to treat residents.
The hospital, where Sheikh Mohamed was himself born, was renamed Kanad Hospital this week as a tribute to the Kennedys.
Sharing the pictures of his meeting with the Kennedy family at the Qasr Al Bahr on Tuesday, Sheikh Mohamed tweeted: "I had the pleasure of meeting the children and grandchildren of Dr Pat and Dr Marian Kennedy, who founded the Kanad Hospital in Al Ain."
He welcomed the family and commended the role that the two doctors played in developing healthcare in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi - Al Ain in particular. "I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to two persons who made their mark in establishing healthcare in the country since its foundation."
Sheikh Mohamed added that the UAE "appreciates the efforts of everyone who contributed to the march of its progress and development".
The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince added that the two doctors "came to the region at a difficult time, but they contributed with their efforts and sincerity in helping the families to overcome many health difficulties".
Dr Pat and Dr Marian Kennedy lived with their children Kathleen, Nancy, Scott and Douglas and worked in Al Ain until 1975.
For their part, members of the Kennedy family expressed gratitude to Sheikh Mohamed for renaming the 'Oasis Hospital' as 'Kanad Hospital'. The hospital will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2020. Over 120,000 infants have been born at the hospital since its foundation.
Hospital started as a mud building
>1960: American Christian missionaries Pat and Marian Kennedy came to Al Ain as it was reeling under high infant mortality and maternal death rates. The hospital initially operated out of a mud building, a guest house that was donated by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
>1964: A modest cement building housing patients' rooms and a nurses' station was constructed
>Till 1970: Facilities like X-ray, a delivery suite and staff housing were added
>1985: Facilities for paediatrics, surgery and obstetrics were added
>2009: The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, donated Dh135 million as a grant-in-aid towards expanding the facilities at the hospital.
(With inputs from Wam)
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