MOH News
Mash'al bin Majed Launches the GCC Conference for Youth and Adolescents' Health
09 April 2012
    His Royal Highness the Governor of Jeddah, Prince Mash'al bin Majed bin Abdulaziz, on behalf of His Royal Highness the Governor of Makkah, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, launched, yesterday, the First Saudi and Third GCC Conference for Youth and Adolescents' Health, organized by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Jeddah. Meanwhile, he welcomed all participants from GCC states, and expressed his wish that the conference will come out with significant medical recommendations.
 
Within the same context, the Deputy Minister of Health for Hospital Affairs, Dr. Aqeel Al-Ghamdi, has delivered a speech before the conference, on behalf of His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, in which he pointed out that the Ministry has developed a national strategic plan meant to care for the health of youth and adolescents. This plan comes as part of the MOH's programs aiming at the provision of comprehensive and integrating health care services for all society segments. He said, “The Saudi National Strategy for the Health of Youth and Adolescents has been formulated within a scientific, social and religious framework, by way of sound behaviors, theoretically and practically, which concord with the ethics and traditions entrenched in the Saudi society, as well as the international gender equality initiatives, and the principles and morals originating from Shari'a.”
 
He went on to say that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is keen to support developmental plans in all fields, placing more emphasis on health, being one of the most important pillars of development. “In this spirit,” he said, “MOH has developed a large number of plans intended to provide integrated and comprehensive for all segments of society.”
 
He further expounded that the stage of youth is characterized with substantial physiological, psychological and health changes, not to mention that it is the most important stage with regard to the acquisition of knowledge, skills and behaviors. It is for theses reasons that it should receive the greater part of our concern, seeking to maintain the youth's potential energy, and direct it towards the good of themselves, their families and communities.
 
Dr. Al-Ghamdi added that the colossal changes of social and economic circumstances in the neighboring countries poses enormous challenges in the face of the youth, especially in terms of the safe transitions to adulthood, pursuance of healthy behaviors and controlling risk factors. Therefore, the adolescents' health should be preserved within the framework of the region's religious, social and cultural values and virtues. 
 
For his part, the Director General of the Executive Board of the GCC Ministers of Health, Prof. Tawfik bin Ahmed Khojah, said in his address before the conference, “The GCC Ministers of Health have paid close attention to the youth and adolescents' health. In this spirit, the Council issued a decision, in the 62nd Conference held in Sanaa, Yemen. It adopted the GCC conception formulated by a GCC specialized work team under the theme: “Together towards better adolescents' health.” This decision was circulated in all member states, so as to put its vision, mission and objectives into effect, as well as forming a GCC committee for adolescents' health. This committee is assigned to follow-up and oversee all the activities, programs and strategies in this domain. One of its tasks, also, is to call upon each of the GCC member states to form a national committee including in its membership representatives of all the relevant authorities, and conducting a unified GCC research on adolescent health, by way of identifying the tendencies and orientations of secondary school students in the fields of general health and reproductive health.
 
It didn't escape Prof. Khojah's notice to acclaim all the decisions and recommendations made by the international and regional agencies and organizations in the field of health education for adolescents. Such decisions shed light on the pivotal importance of adolescence as a decisive phase of people's lives. Besides, they accentuated our need to embark on health education programs for adolescents, making optimal use of all the available methods, potentials and capabilities. New and innovative techniques have to be developed to deliver our message to adolescents in a proper way, placing more emphasis on innovation and the sense of duty in inferring the appropriate means of communication necessary for the enhancement and development of adolescent health. These decisions highlighted our urgent need to and effective way to identify the strategic directions of the promotion of adolescent health at the local, regional and international levels.
 
For his part, the Chairman of the Conference Organizing Committee, and Director-General of Health Centers, Dr. Essam bin Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, said, “The conference revolves certain axes; namely, the current status and strategic frameworks of adolescent health, the role of public and private corporations, civil society, and the regional and international organizations in this domain, aside from the studies and experiences in the field of adolescent health. That is to be added to the risk factors affecting the youth, potentially leading to certain diseases, and the life skills which enable the youth and adolescents to promote their health, in addition to the development of the skills of health service providers for the youth.
 
Dr. Essam Al-Ghamdi pointed out that the conference is characterized by handling numerous aspects, both locally, regionally and internationally, in the field of adolescent health. That is because adolescence is a crucial juncture in people's lives, in addition to the weighty size of this segment in our societies. Therefore, we are supposed to make every effort to avoid the health, mental and social problems facing our youth, thus contributing to development plans.
 
Concluding his address, Dr. Essam Al-Ghamdi hoped that the meeting would entail practical and effective results in the enhancing adolescent health, and encouraging the whole society to effectively participate in maintaining the health and well-being of our youth and adolescents.
 
 



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