Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) in association with the Supreme Council of Health and its strategic partners: Qatar Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, Occidental Petroleum of Qatar and Vodafone Qatar; organized the first public event of a major health initiative “Your Health First” Campaign in Souq Waqif.
Many members of both the Qatari and expatriate communities attended the event along with medical experts from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar and the Supreme Council of Health, who answered the attendees’ questions and provided them with health tips for healthy living.
The campaign was launched in June 2012 by His Excellency Abdulla bin Khalid Al Qahtani, Minister of Public Health and Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Health and aims to increase the awareness of the Qatari society on critical health issues. The five-year campaign primarily targets the 10 to 25-year-old age group.
Qatari standup comedian Mohamed Kamal played host to the event. Using his simple humor to attract the audience, he highlighted public health issues and encouraged them to join the competition, which focused on healthy lifestyles. At the end of the competition, winners were given prizes presented by Vodafone, which included the latest top of the range smartphones, mobile broadband USB dongles and Vodafone Postpaid Welcome Packs.
The audience, especially football fans, enjoyed the company of Al Sadd’s Football Club player Omar Yahya Rabah, Midfielder, shirt number 98. Vodafone, the sponsor of Al Sadd Football Club, gave the audience the chance to meet and ask Al Sadd football star, Omar Yahya about his fitness, diet and further advice he could give to them to stay fit.
Being the exclusive communication partner in the Your Health First campaign, Vodafone has launched an SMS service providing daily health tips developed by the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. Throughout the holy month of Ramadan, all Vodafone customers can subscribe to the service for free by sending an SMS with the key word “Sihaty” to the short code 97799.
Dr. Hassan Rasheed, the Qatari journalist and critic also attended the event, and talked about the campaign and how it will open new dimensions in healthy lifestyle in Qatar. Dr. Rasheed said, “Such events create direct interaction and refresh the memory with the risk of neglecting the health.” Dr. Rasheed thanked the college for their initiative and congratulated them on producing a successful TV and radio programs that made it easy for everyone to remember to put their health first. He added, the program was very professional, very light for the whole family to watch, enjoy and benefit from it. The duration and presentation of the program were perfect to attract the audience and digest the information easily.
Dr. Javaid Sheikh, Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, hailed the wide participation of the general public in the campaign’s event. Under the slogan “Your Health First”, the health educational campaign reflects the commitment of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar to promote the quality of healthcare in Qatar and educate the general public about healthy lifestyles and preventive measures.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the Supreme Council of Health and our strategic partners in “Your Health First” Campaign for their strong support of the program since its outset. Established in partnership with Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar pledges to be a center of excellence in education, biomedical research and clinical training. Today, we seek to implement the quality healthcare concept through this campaign to improve health awareness among the Qatari society”, said Dr. Javaid Sheikh.
The audience viewed the different exhibits of the medical college and its strategic partners, who offered advice to change unhealthy habits and tips to follow healthier lifestyles with regular physical exercise and a balanced diet.
The Ritz Carlton Doha hotel also participated in the event and provided healthy entertainment to the audience especially the children as part of their keen support and belief to the campaign goals. By organizing these various activities which include something of interest for every member of the Qatar community, WCMC-Q aims to spread health awareness and an understanding of how to prevent various diseases.
The Your Health First campaign is a five year initiative, timed to conclude with the completion of the National Health Strategy 2016. It consists of several stages, the first of which is based on introducing Qataris to issues related to public health, particularly healthy practices and the importance of physical activity and diet. Subsequent stages will address a number of health and medical issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, mental health and the health of women and children, bone diseases, rheumatism, anxiety, sleep disorders, as well as the benefits of vitamins, cancer, and healthy eating habits by children, young people and adults.
WCMC-Q has produced for the campaign a TV health awareness program, which is being aired on Qatar Television at 1 p.m. every day during Ramadan, as well as daily health tips via Qatar Radio and Sout Al Khaleej. Using such a diverse range of media technology, including social networks, will ensure the campaign reaches the largest possible audience, especially the 10-25 year age group.
For more information visit the campaign’s face book page at: www.facebook.com/SahtakAwalan.
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