General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Wednesday called on higher education institutions to lend more attention to programmes and specialisations that produce well-qualified professionals to take care of persons with special needs. Shaikh Mohammed highlighted, during a visit to the Abu Dhabi Centre for Autism and Abu Dhabi Rehabilitation and Care Center for People with Special Needs, both affiliated to the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO), the vital role of national centres in early detection of genetic diseases and disorders and the need for introducing advanced technological devices to diagnose them early. The latest technology, he added, would enable specialists to take necessary medical and curative measures to prevent prevalence of genetic disorders that cause disabilities and chronic diseases. He also stressed the importance of conducting specialised research and studies, sharing information, and of establishing national databases on persons with disabilities so as to keep abreast of the latest developments in the field and to raise awareness about issues concerning persons with disabilities. He affirmed that delivery of care and support to the people with special needs is not confined to family and rehabilitation centres, rather it is a joint national and community-driven responsibility that needs mobilisation of all community forces and organisations to provide support for rehabilitation programmes and generate equal job opportunities to this segment of people.