MOH News
Dr. Al-Hemeidi: Nutritional Health and Nutritional Education Are the Whole Community's Responsibility
06 February 2013
Under the auspices of His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al- Rabeeah, the Undersecretary for Curative Services, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Hemeidi, on Wednesday morning, opened the Fourth Annual Scientific Meeting, under the theme: “Health Nutritional Education: Indicators and Challenges”, and the caricatured health-awareness exhibition accompanying it, at Al-Khozama Hotel in Riyadh.
The inauguration started with a citation of the Holy Quran, followed by the speech of the Supervisor-General of the Nutrition General Committee, the Head of the Scientific Committee, in which he underlined that the advancement of the health nutritional awareness level of the community in order to maintain its health guarantees, Allah willing, that all its individuals enjoy an enough amount of balanced health food covering their daily needs. As such, the standards of good health confirm that the community reaches distinctive healthy, economic levels when having health, balanced food.
He went on adding that the researchers and specialists statistically underline that the rate of obesity for female is 24% and for males 16%. While the rate of overweight in males is 29%, and in females 27%; which could develop into obesity. As for the rate of diabetes, it amounts to 14% among all the community segments and 28% for those over 30 years. He also underlined that the spread of non-infectious diseases injury such as obesity, Cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, respiratory disease among others reflect psychological, social, and economic health risks affecting the role set for us all, and it entangles the community with  the cumbersome disability and productivity shortage. Also, bearing the specialty responsibility and professional honesty requires from us all to change the community reality towards nutritional habits and health practices taking place under the umbrella of comprehensive and fully fledged awareness, education, and health programs. And it should be boosted up by cadres qualified with all the latest with regard to the information and means of educational messages conveying, in order to perform their purpose for every citizen.
He also quoted what his Excellency the Minister of Health underlined at the margin of the Arab Economic, Social and Development Summit, held in Riyadh, that “the chronic and spread diseases treatment has exhausted the budgets and economies of the health ministries in the Arabian countries, to the effect that from 40% to 50% of these budgets has been squandered.” He further mentioned the Unites Nations report that these diseases are of the most outstanding challenges facing the states' economies.
He pointed out that the diversification of the educational programs and awareness activities from various entities, whether inside or outside the Ministry of Health (MOH), with the increase of the non-infectious diseases spread numbers get the Nutrition General Department to choose "The Health Nutritional Education" as a title for the fourth scientific meeting aiming through it at shedding the light on the role of the health nutritional education in reducing the malnutrition diseases injury rates and improving the health nutritional practices, as well as setting a joint strategy. Thus, nations are known by the health of its community in terms of the comprehensive health educational programs they provide as a preventive role before the curative role; in order to reduce the disease injury risks, namely malnutrition diseases.
With the same vein, the Head of the Scientific Committee thanked his Excellency the Minister of Health for his all-time sponsorship of such a scientific meeting. He also thanked his Excellency the Under-secretary for Curative Services for opening such a meeting on behalf of his Excellency, as well as thanking the Assistant Under-secretary for Supportive Medical Services, Dr. Munirah Al-Esaimi for supporting the awareness programs.
This was followed by the speech of the meeting sponsor his Excellency the Under-secretary for Curative Services, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Hemeidi, in which he, on behalf of his Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, said “It gives me all the pleasure, this morning, to open the events of the fourth scientific meeting of the Nutrition General Department entitled "The Health Nutritional Education: Indicators and Challenges.” It also pleases me to extend the regards of the Minister of Health and his wishes that such a meeting brings out the aims and recommendations that realize the health of the individual and community, and upgrade the curative services provided to patients.
In the meantime, Dr. Al-Hemeidi pointed out that a nutritional education provider needs to be qualified, trained, and continuously updated; this is in order to face a wide range of challenges in the food field and its types, and its way of classification, storage, and canning. Not to mention the enormous momentum of the commercial media targeting the consumer in relation to food and its various types, and running them to the consumer through various printed and audio-visual media temptations. Hence, the nutritional culture has become not only part of the human life but also their choice: either health or sickness, as the saying goes "the stomach is the house of every malady, and diet is the head of every cure.
He also added that the nutritional health and nutritional education will never ever restricted to the Ministry of Health (MOH) or Food and Drug Authority, in spite of their representing for a big and important part of the nutritional education system, but the responsibility is shouldered by not only every family, householder, teacher, and school, but also every disinterested, faithful seller and marketer in the corridors of hospitals, health centers, clinics; and it should exist in every home, city, market, and mall. This is in order to build the culture of a generation interested in their food as well as their medication, and in turn limit a future threatened with diseases linked to food such as obesity, diabetes, cardiac diseases, and tumors with all its kinds, which started to spread not only in the Kingdom's community but also the international and global community. Thus, we are not isolated to the world at an age the food is manufactured today in the east of the globe and its west and reaches us not only with the same specifications but also with the same cover, trademark, and factory.
And he added "if we exerted this great effort, we would then live the spirit of the saying that goes "prevention is better than cure" and" a stitch in time saves nine". And the Ministry of Health upon exerting these efforts performs part of its duty, and this is through setting the strategies related to the nutritional education and its various programs as part of the fully fledged health system until the nutritional health educator and clinical nutrition have become a main part of the curative services. They also represent a vital part of the treating, full-fledged medical team. He went on calling on taking the appropriate measures to review and set future plans, hoping that your recommendations at this conference will bring a better future for the nutritional health education programs as part of the health system in a way guaranteeing the integrity of the curative health programs on the highest levels."
And upon the conclusion of his speech, he announced the opening of the meeting saying “With Allah's blessings, we open such a meeting, and we pray Allah to reward your efforts with guidance and success and bless your work. And I cannot miss thanking you for your attendance, and I thank the Nutrition General Department, organizing committee, and sponsors of this conference, and all who contributed to organize it, wishing you all to reach what realizes our ambitions for better health.”
It followed that participants and sponsors of the scientific meeting, as well as members of the scientific and technical committees of the Saudi Dietary Guidelines, were honored. Thereafter, the MOH Undersecretary of Curative Services, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Hemeidi, inaugurated the caricatured health-awareness exhibition accompanying the meeting.
It is worth mentioning that the meeting comprised several scientific sessions, the first of which was entitled: “Health Nutrition Education: Basics and Policies”. The second session was entitled: “Partnership and Reinforcement of Nutrition Education”, whereas the third took the title: “Local and International Experiences and Studies”.
The meeting was concluded with the roundtable talks, chaired by the Supervisor-General of MOH Public Relations, Media and Health Awareness, Dr. Khaled Marghalani, held under the title: “Media and Challenges of Health Nutrition Education”. This involved conducting interviews with the Chief Editor of “Riyadh Newspaper”, Mr. Turki al-Sedeiri, and the Director-General of the Saudi TV-Channel 2, Mr. Abdullah Al-Obaidullah, in addition to Dr. Khaled al-Farm, a professor specialized in modern media and a media consultant, Prof. Dr. Hassan al-Amin, Chief Editor of the Saudi Medical Magazine, and Dr. Hassan al-Khodairi, a health journalist and consultant physician of obstetrics and gynecology.

Last Update : 11 February 2013 11:19 AM
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