(MENAFN- The Peninsula) QNA / The Peninsula
Doha: The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday certified all the municipalities of Qatar as 'Healthy Cities', thus becoming the first country in the Eastern Mediterranean to obtain the accreditation for all of its cities.
Qatar University was also certified as a 'Healthy University,' joining Qatar Foundation(QF) Education City, which had earlier been named 'Healthy Education City'.
Speaking during the honouring ceremony, the Minister of Public Health, H E Dr. Hanan Mohammed Al Kuwari, said: 'Having all the municipalities awarded as Health Cities, in addition to Qatar University as 'Healthy University' and QF Education City as 'Healthy Education City', is considered an important achievement which comes as a culmination of the great efforts of all sectors of the country to provide sustainable options to achieve the health and well-being of the people of the State of Qatar.'
She noted that the effort has been guided by the wise vision of the Amir, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and expressed the commitment to continue to work to improve health through the active collaboration of all state sectors and society.
'The achievement, in a short timeframe, demonstrates the hard work and commitment of the teams and the strong partnerships we have established through the Healthy Cities Network, underscoring the continuation of these efforts in order to improve the health and well-being of the population,' Dr. Al Kuwari added.
She said that as Qatar is looking forward to welcoming the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 fans from all over the world, Qatar Healthy Cities will contribute to promoting Qatar's guests' positive experience at the event.
'Last year, the Ministry of Public Health and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy signed a partnership with WHO and FIFA which aims at making the World Cup a beacon to promote physical and mental health and a model to ensure that future mega sports events are healthy and safe,' the minister added.
The Minister of Municipality, H E Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie, said that the fact that all municipalities in Qatar were awarded by the WHO as 'Healthy Cities' is a great achievement accomplished by the collaboration of several entities in the country.
'This great attention paid by the highest authorities to Qatari cities contributed to their development according to the basics and standards of environmental, health, and urban sustainability, which are considered key indicators of healthy cities. This success highlights the partnership and collaboration among the various sectors of the state to achieve a high quality of life and to improve health, well-being and sustainable development,' he said.
'The vision that we are working to achieve through the comprehensive urban plan of Qatar is to create an ideal model for sustainable urban life that has all the standards and specifications that qualify it to be a healthy, livable city through achieving the strategic objectives of the Ministry of Municipality in maintaining cities with green facilities suitable for human living and environmentally friendly, the minister said.
He added that healthy cities enhance efforts to achieve the Qatar National Vision 2030 and implement comprehensive development and sustainable plans to bring progress and prosperity to society.
Meanwhile, the 'Healthy University' award follows the 'Health Promoting Universities' programme of the higher institutions in Qatar and is also part of the 'Healthy Cities' programme.
The President of Qatar University, Dr. Hassan Rashid Al Derham, said that Qatar University's Award as a 'Healthy University' demonstrates the great interest the university attaches to promoting health and well-being, and through its distinctive cooperation with various sectors of the country,
'This also supports the university's efforts to provide more promotion and development programmes for the improvement of the health of the university community, in addition to initiatives targeting the Qatari community in general,' he said.
'We are keen to support the strategic objectives of the university by creating a stimulating environment for education and providing programs and services that will contribute to the development of the skills of young people and help them discover their potential, and this comes out of our belief in the important role of education and higher education in enabling young people to lead meaningful initiatives that contribute to the promotion of the health and well-being of society,' Dr. Al-Derham added.
The WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr. Ahmed Al Mandhari, said: 'It is a pleasure to join Qatar in celebrating the award of its remaining six municipalities as 'Healthy Cities', following that of Doha and Al Rayyan municipalities earlier this year. This achievement puts Qatar at the forefront of the Eastern Mediterranean Region, where EMRO grants all its municipalities the status of a 'Healthy City'. In addition to being ranked second among Qatar's health universities, this milestone was made possible by the leadership and support of HE Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani, HE Dr. Hanan Mohammed Al Kuwari, and all current ministers representing the partnership between WHO and Qatar.'
Dr. Al-Mandhari added that Qatar offers a model for the implementation of the 'Healthy Cities' programme, which will guide member states at the regional and global levels towards successfully adapting the program to their country's contexts.
'We look forward to building on our partnership with Qatar through our country office led by Dr. Rayana Ahmad Bou Haka in order to expand the scope of the 'Healthy Cities' program in the region,' he added.
Healthy Cities is a global initiative launched by WHO with the aim of placing health at the top of the social and political agenda of cities by promoting health, equity, and sustainable development through innovation and multisectoral change.
This initiative is in line with the Regional Vision for the Eastern Mediterranean 2023: Health for All and by All. The 'Healthy City' award is granted to cities in the world that meet the criteria set by WHO.
In February, the municipalities of Doha and Al Rayyan were awarded as 'Healthy Cities', and Qatar Foundations Education City as 'Healthy Education City' by the WHO.
The Healthy City programme aims to improve the health of populations by promoting health and well-being, improving equity, enabling communities and preventing the main causes of ill health through incorporating health into all policies and enhancing cooperation and partnership across different sectors of society.
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