Doha, February 13 (QNA) - HE Minister of Public Health Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari said that the State of Qatar's adoption of the 'Healthy Cities' project affirms the state's commitment to achieve universal health.
On the sidelines of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Awarding Ceremony of Doha and Al Rayyan Municipalities as 'Healthy Cities' and the Designation of Qatar Foundation's (QF) Education City as a 'Healthy Education City', HE Minister of Pubic Health stressed in press statements that the health strategy and Qatar National Vision 2030 aim to promote physical and mental health for the population.
She pointed out that the ministry has developed strong partnerships by bringing together policymakers, researchers, academics and leaders from different sectors and industries through the development of a 'Healthy City Network', to facilitate joint work and collaborations aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the population.
"Receiving the WHO Healthy City accreditation for Doha and Al Rayan municipalities, as well as the recognition of Education City as 'Healthy Education City', is a reflection of the efforts across government and key stakeholders towards prioritizing the health and well-being of the population of Qatar," she said, adding that it is also a commitment to continue to push the health agenda forward.
For his part, HE Minister of Municipality Abdulla bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie said that the awarding of Doha and Al Rayyan as 'Healthy Cities' by the WHO affirms Qatar's commitment to transform Qatari cities into healthy cities, through sustainable urban development and high-quality life to improve the health and wellbeing of all people across Qatar.
"This achievement is a culmination of efforts to develop all municipalities in the country and to upgrade the level of projects and services provided to residents, to achieve the Ministry of Municipality strategic goals of maintaining eco-friendly cities with green, healthy, and scenic facilities; and enhancing the 'ease of living' and quality of life," he added.
HE Minister of Municipality expressed his appreciation to MOPH, QF and all relevant partners for their sincere efforts that led to the awarding of two of Qatar's largest and most important municipalities as 'Healthy Cities' by the WHO, following the joining of three Qatari municipalities, namely Al Wakra, Al-Shamal and Al Shahaniya, to the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities.
For her part, HE Vice Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Foundation Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al-Thani said that the physical and mental health of the community in the State of Qatar is a basic pillar in promoting sustainability, adding that its dedication and preservation is necessary to support Qatar's endeavors to achieve human and societal development.
Her Excellency added that promoting the society's health and well-being requires a joint commitment and solidarity among various parties, including QF, which believes that opportunities to realize human potential increase in a cohesive and healthy society, as the institutions has always worked on making human development a priority for more than 25 years.
She noted that this commitment and joint cooperation between country's various parties resulted in two municipalities in Qatar obtaining the approval of the Health City from WHO.
She also stressed that QF is working on upgrading its system as a whole in order to support national programs, empower society, and make more contributions within the framework of national efforts to build healthier cities in the field of education, work, or daily lifestyles.
For his part, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr. Ahmed Al Mandhari said that the Health City approach is a comprehensive approach that integrates multidisciplinary actions across different sectors, and encourages community engagement, partnership, empowerment and equality among city dwellers.
"The State of Qatar has demonstrated significant commitment to improving health and well-being and to strong cooperation among partners from government, academia and civil society, ensuring that the health and well-being of its population remain a top priority," he added.
It is noteworthy that a WHO delegation paid a field visit to Doha and Al Rayyan municipalities earlier to evaluate their eligibility for Healthy City status.
The 'Healthy City' program is global initiative launched by WHO, which aims at placing health on top of the social and political agenda of cities by promoting health, equity and sustainable development through innovation and multisectoral change. The program is aligned with the Eastern Mediterranean Region vision 2023: health for all by all.
'Healthy City' status is awarded to cities around the world which meet the criteria set by the WHO.
The Healthy City program in Qatar serves one of the strategic projects under the 'Health in All Policies' priority within the National Health Strategy (NHS) 2018-2022.
It is an inter-sectoral collaborative approach to improving the health and equity for all populations by incorporating health considerations and implications into all decision-making processes and policies across government.
The program focuses on four areas of work namely, establishment of robust governance structure, community engagement and empowerment, behavioral change interventions, and strengthening monitoring and evaluation.
The 'Healthy City' initiative aims to improve the health of populations by promoting health and wellbeing, empowerment and equity among residents and preventing the main causes of diseases through incorporating health in all policies, which fosters cooperation and partnership across sectors and with the community.
The "Healthy Education City" award is part of the "Health-Promoting Universities" program and the "Healthy City" program. This award reflects QF's dedication to promoting health and wellbeing, as well as its commitment to supporting members of the community to reach their full potential.
In a press conference held today on this occasion, Director of the Division of Health Protection and Promotion at the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr. Maha Al Adawy, Director of Healthy City Network in the State of Qatar Dr. Sadriya Al Kohji, Director of Al Rayyan Municipality Jaber Al Jaber, and Executive Director of City Operations at QF Hamad Al Kuwari, talked about the importance of the 'Healthy Cities' initiative, as well as its objectives.
Dr. Maha Al Adawy said that WHO has adopted 80 indicators to obtain the accreditation of the Health City, as 80 percent of the indicators must be achieved, adding that it is equivalent to 64 indicators, which is what Qatar has achieved with merit, including community and environmental participation, excellence of health facilities, equipment and nutritional level.
For his part, Hamad Al Kuwari said that representatives from MOPH and WHO have visited QF last year and were briefed on the green areas, the oxygen park, green buildings, various schools, laboratories and research and development institutes within the institution, which achieve the highest indicators of sustainability - qualifying the Education City to be a healthy educational city.
For his part, Jaber Al Jaber said that the Ministry of Municipality is working on achieving the highest standards of quality and sustainability in all projects, most notably the control of facilities, warehouses, nutrition and the construction of gardens in various regions.
Qatar aims at getting all the eight municipalities awarded as 'Healthy Cities' by the WHO to provide sustainable and healthier options for the whole population.
Dr. Sadriya Al Kohji told Qatar News Agency (QNA) in a statement that the title of 'Healthy Cities' for the municipalities of Doha, Al Rayyan and Education City is considered one of the objectives of the National Health Strategy 2018-2022, which seeks to reduce diseases and illnesses in health, adding that it is achieved through the joint work of all sectors that affect the health of the population.
She emphasized that MOPH aims to promote health by developing joint policies and institutional plans, as well as providing a healthy environment by building a healthy society in terms of physical and mental health, to achieve Qatar Vision 2030 and its strategies of development. (QNA)
13 February 2022
Minister of Public Health: Qatar's Adoption of Healthy Cities Project Affirms Its Keenness to Promote Universal Health