30 October 2016
‘ The health of our young people is paramount to the future of our nation. They will one day help lead Qatar and we ought to ensure they are healthy and that they are able to live up to their full potential’ it was said by Sheikha Hind bint Hamad bin Khalifa AlThani, Deputy Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation. She said that Qatar is a nation that is a vanguard for productive change and with the support of Qatar Foundation, that is exactly what Your Health First is doing – helping children and families make a positive change that has an emphatic impact on their lives. Together, we have engaged with thousands of young people and used innovative programs to ensure they understand the value of nutrition, exercise and good health and their role in preventing disease in later life.”
Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chair Person of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development attended on Sunday the Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) celebration of fifth anniversary of the health campaign Sahtak Awalan: Your Health First. Her Highness has also toured the illustrative models of the initiatives and activities launched by Sahtak Awalan during the past years for the service of all the members of society, especially young people and children.
Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health said “The Ministry of Public Health is committed to working closely with Sahtak Awalan so that together we can educate people about healthy living, exercise and nutrition and enable them to make informed choices about their health. We recognize that the lifestyle diseases within Qatar’s population threaten to reduce our quality of life unless we work together to reverse their rising trend. This means individuals, families, employers, schools and government all playing their part and taking responsibility for developing a healthier society. I am proud of the achievements our partnership with Sahtak Awalan has delivered and look forward to continuing our efforts to improve the health of our population, a healthy society is central to the realization of Qatar’s National Vision 2030.”
Dr. Mohammed Abdul Wahed Al Hammadi, Minister of Education and Higher Education applauded the fruitful partnership with WCM-Q in implementing Sahtak Awalan in schools across Qatar for the fifth year running. Al Hammadi praised the initiatives run by Sahtak Awalan such as Project Greenhouse and the Poster Competition, which inspired school children to live healthy lives. Education Minister lauded active participation by the students and for spreading the word to their families and friends and adopting healthy eating habits. The school is definitely the best place to instill good habits from early age, and I urge all school administrations and stakeholders to work with Sahtak Awalan and adapt the school environment to make the best use of the campaign,” he concluded.
“What really distinguishes Sahtak Awalan from other health campaigns is that it researches our community and delivers well-thought-out solutions to the most pressing health issues. For example, Project Greenhouse promoted a balanced and healthy diet and encouraged school children to grow their own plants at home. School children have been involved in research and poster competitions on issues such as smoking, road accidents, unhealthy eating habits and related diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer. This interactive involvement of students is of vital importance taking into consideration the prevalence of these diseases and bad habits in our society,” Education Minister said.
Dr. Thani bin Abdulrahman Al Kuwari, Secretary General, Qatar Olympic Committee praised ‘Sahtak Awalan’ for its inclusive attitude to sport and physical activity. The key to Your Health First’s success over the years has been its ability to make sport and physical activity accessible and enjoyable to people of all ages. The QOC looks forward to seeing the Your Health First campaign grow to benefit even more people across the country, as the benefits of sports cannot be overstated.”
Dr. Javaid Sheikh, Dean WCM-Q said in his speech ‘Healthcare is not just about reacting to an illness with medication and surgery, it should primarily be about cultivating healthy lifestyles to prevent chronic illness. As a doctor I would prefer that people look after their health and that of their families so they never have to see the inside of a hospital.? “In that respect Sahtak Awalan has been a true inspiration as it has taken lessons about good health to Qatar’s community and made those lessons attainable. Sahtak Awalan has helped make the college’s commitment to public health a reality.? “It would not have been possible, however, without the invaluable support of our strategic partners and I offer them my wholehearted thanks for their unswerving faith in the ethos of Sahtak Awalan. Together we are making a real difference to the health of the next generation and the future of Qatar and I can only look forward with anticipation to the next five years,’ Dr. Javaid Sheikh said.