The Health Promotion Department, HPD, at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, SCFA, and its health-promoting associations have announced a package of new programs and initiatives that will be organized throughout 2020.
The new activities were formulated to support the government endeavors in 2020, which was announced to be the year of preparations for the next 50 (2020: towards the next 50). The initiatives aim to strengthen the adoption of healthy lifestyles among the community members and improving the public health in the Emirate of Sharjah, pursuant to the visions and directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah.
This was stated during a press conference held today (Wednesday) at the SCFA headquarters, in the presence of HE Iman Rashid Saif, Director of the Health Promotion Department, heads of health-promoting associations, representatives of HPD’s strategic partners, a number of volunteers at the Department, and a big crowd of media representatives.
The to-be launched initiatives includes an initiative to complete work on the “Healthy Schools Program”, “Wazen Program”, as well as other initiatives and programmes for health-promoting associations, which focus on enhancing the Emirate’s efforts in terms of raising awareness on ways to prevent various diseases, and encourage members of society to follow healthy lifestyles and exercise healthy habits that maintain health and safety.
A Roadmap for Our Initiatives
HE Iman Rashid Saif said: “The theme ‘2020: Towards the next 50’ announced by the wise leadership at the beginning of this year was the base of our strategic plans for this year and constitutes a roadmap for the Department’s initiatives and programs. This year’s activities are relying on new and innovative awareness methods to reach all society segments and all age groups.”
This includes conducting more field visits and fostering our participation inside and outside the Emirate’s major fairs, festivals, and events to continue our fundamental and growing role in maintaining public health, preventing and reducing the prevalence of chronic diseases, Saif further said.
“The department is doing its best to maintain Sharjah’s reputation as an oasis of healthy life and a role model in caring for the health and safety of its citizens and residents”, she added
Following a short film about the Health Promotion Department and the related health promotion associations, Amna Al Naqbi, Director of the Division of the Health Information of the Health Education Department of the SCFA outlined the Department’s initiatives for 2020. They include Ramadan’s initiative under the slogan “Hilal Al-Seha”, “Health & Tourism Initiative” which will be focusing on nutrition in association with some restaurants and cafes, “Sohbti Program” (My Companions) which is organized annually in cooperation with Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah, and organizing “My Health Conference” the largest event of its kind.
Organizing the 8th Annual Marathon
HE Waheeda Abdul Aziz, Head of the Friends of Arthritis Patients Society, shed light on the Association’s agenda, including “It’s Time to Exercise” and the 8th annual marathon with ambitious plans to attract over 8000 people, with the aim of drawing the attention of the community to arthritis patients and supporting them financially and morally.
Other events include a “walking hour” initiative, launching a short health and awareness film competition, organizing a health conference, and a “steps towards hope” forum to reveal the latest research in the field of joint and bone diseases, and raise awareness of the hazards of osteoporosis.
Heba Mohammed Zaqqout, Executive Secretary, Friends of Breastfeeding Association, highlighted the programs and initiatives of the Breastfeeding Friends Association, where it is intending to carry out more than 20 initiatives and programs including the Mabrouk Ma Yak Initiative, Breastfeeding Girl Guides Program as well as a specialized training course on the breastfeeding-related and infant nutrition topics.
Other activities of the year also include the annual ceremony for honoring nursing mothers to encourage them to continue breastfeeding, in addition to organizing activities marking the World Breastfeeding Week and the National Breastfeeding Week.
The Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP)
Amal Al-Mazmi, Head of the Organizational Excellence Department at the FOCP, gave a presentation on the Association’s agenda, which includes the launch of the 3rd non-communicable diseases forum. A workshop will also be organized for the record of cancer tumors.
Additionally, the FOCP will be taking part, for the fifth consecutive year, in the Gulf Campaign to raise cancer awareness, besides launching the Pink Caravan Journey in its tenth edition, as well as organizing the “I Deserve Life” campaign in its eighth edition during the holy month of Ramadan, and participating in the Sharjah Book Fair and Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival.
Raising Diabetes Awareness among School Students
Amna Ahmed Al Shamsi, Executive Secretary, the Friends of Diabetes Association, said: “The Association’s agenda for this year focuses on enhancing the public awareness on diabetes and promoting ways of prevention, as well as on how to provide appropriate health care for diabetic patients. Our agenda will be implemented through three big campaigns to be organized by the associations, including the “Blue Circle” initiative, “The Super Hero” and the “Prevention and Coexistence” campaigns.
“Also, our activities will be focusing on raising diabetes awareness among school students in Sharjah, by providing free consultations and organization of awareness-raising workshops and various recreational events and other activities”Al Shamsi added.
Kidney Health for All Everywhere
While Aisha Al Ali, a representative of the Friends of Kidney Patients Association, explained the association’s most important initiative, most importantly the International Kidney Day Initiative, entitled “Kidney Health for All Everywhere”, which includes a number of activities, such as launching a contest through social networking sites, producing educational film, organizing a “mural” exhibition and a patient visits program.
This is in addition to the “My Health in Ramadan” initiative to educate employees on how to maintain normal levels of sugar and blood pressure and the “Water Campaign” initiative to raise awareness of the importance of water and sports for kidney health.
The Health Education Department and health-supporting associations will also strive to launch several initiatives to mark international health days throughout the year, in addition to raising awareness through social media and media outlets, as well as developing studies that serve the health and social aspects whether in the Emirate of Sharjah or nationwide.