The workshop is part of the government’s strategy to develop work mechanisms based on competitiveness, innovation, proactive solutions, as well as to confront future health changes and develop public health-oriented national initiatives.
Moderated by Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Public Health Sector, the workshop was attended by Dr. Lubna Al Shaali, Director of Health Policies and Legislation Department, Dr. Rasha Salama, Public Health Adviser at the Ministry, and several officials concerned with public health, health education and promotion.
During the workshop, Dr. Al Rand highlighted the objectives of the national policy to promote a healthy lifestyle, and emphasised that the policy is designed to keep pace with continuous developments, benefit from local and international experiences, and build on prior accomplishments of the health sector.
As part of a national framework comprising three primary levels; individuals, society, and the country, Al Rand pointed out that encouraging a healthy lifestyle, promoting excellent mental health, and embracing positive thinking is a key element for the well-being of community members.
He stressed the necessity of coordinated efforts in addressing challenges and instilling a culture of innovation in order to establish a world-class health system.
“Together with increasing society’s capacity to adopt a healthy lifestyle with all the necessary skills, our goal is to create a legislative environment supportive of health, and to engage civil society organisations along with public and private sectors involved in health promotion initiatives,” Al Rand added.
The workshop focused on three national indicators; the indicator of the prevalence of childhood obesity, the indicator of persons with diabetes, and the prevalence of smoking any tobacco products.
The participants commended the community health initiatives that were implemented, while emphasising the importance of their long-term sustainability in ensuring society’s welfare, through three courses of action; legislation and policies, awareness and media, research and studies.
In her address during the workshop, Dr. Lubna Al Shaali, Director of the Department of Health Policies and Legislation, stated, “The policy to promote a healthy lifestyle is a national framework comprising a roadmap with numerous options.”
She added that the policy places a strong emphasis on modifiable behavioral factors that contribute to the prevention of diseases.
Furthermore, she observed that this is accomplished by taking a multi-sectoral approach underpinned by a well-developed and flexible legislative framework, which would result in more effective and efficient use of national resources, as well as coordination of planning and implementation, role definition, and improved information exchange and innovative initiatives.