MOH News
The International Conference for Healthy Lifestyles to Be Held in Riyadh under the Auspices of King Abdullah
30 June 2012
   Under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, May Allah protect him, the International Conference for Health Lifestyles and non-Communicable Diseases in the Arab World and the Middle East will be held on 10-12 September, 2012. This announcement was made by the MOH Spokesman, Dr. Khaled bin Mohammed Marghalani, who said, “The Kingdom is keen to vow its commitment to the declaration outlining the International Strategy for non-Communicable Diseases Control approved by presidents and prime-ministers with a view to controlling non-communicable diseases in September 2001.”
“The conference is basically meant to discuss the current enormity of non-communicable diseases, and their subsequent social and economic impact on the whole region. Furthermore, it aims to put forward effective solutions, seeking to alleviate the effect of such diseases upon health as well as the social and economic development, and prompt apt response at all levels, in order for such solutions to be carried out through coordination among all competent sectos,” Marghalani added.
Dr. Marghalani went on to say, “The conference is intended, besides, to raise people's political awareness of the primordial role to be assumed by governments with regard to controlling the increasing spread of non-communicable diseases, and their impact on the social and economic development in the Arab World and the Middle East. That's to be added to formulating regional strategies, and obsessing the structures and tools necessary for promoting the political commitment. It is also intended to serve as an international and regional forum, to make clear that the governments' objectives could only be achieved when regarding health as a fundamental element in each strategic policy, and involving leaders and decision-makers at all governmental levels in the accomplishment of such policies.”
“The conference will also review updated information on the spread and enormity of non-communicable diseases,” Marghalani continued, “and how they are reflected on the objectives and national strategies related to public health, as well as the social and economic development. That's to be added to reviewing the strategies, tools and objectives internationally approved, with a view to enhance the national plans and policies that have to do with surveillance, prevention and improvement of healthcare services provided for patients with non-communicable diseases.”
“In addition,” he further expounded, “an elaborate roadmap will be formulated for the actions to be taken in the Arab World and the Middle East, based on studying the status quo of national and regional capabilities, seeking to set and develop the national objectives related to the prevention of non-communicable diseases, in addition to strengthening international and regional cooperation in the control and prevention of non-communicable diseases, in order to create a proper environment in the Arab World and the Middle East Region; thus improving lifestyles and making them healthier, and promoting the national capabilities at all levels related the control and prevention of non-communicable diseases.”
Dr. Marghalani emphasized that the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) is working in close coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) on the organization of this conference. It is projected to be attended by the delegations recommended by the ministries of health, foreign affairs and planning of the member states of the WHO East Mediterranean Region and the Arab League, as well as representatives of the UN funds, programs and agencies, in addition to international financial institutions, developmental banks and other international organizations.
According to Dr. Marghalani, there will be a local committee accountable for ensuring the efficiency of internal coordination among all the competent Saudi ministries and governmental agencies, with regard to planning and organizing the international conference. In addition, the International Steering Committee will be responsible for the preparation and implementation of the scientific program, and submitting the final report of the conference. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) share the chairmanship of the steering committee.
It is worth mentioning that the average life expectancy in the WHO East Mediterranean Region has leapt form 51 years in 1970 to 70 years at the present. The under-five mortality has diminished from 100 deaths per 1000 births in 1990 to 68 deaths per 1000 births in 2008.
 



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