MOH News
A Symposium on Health Awareness and New Media Opened this Morning
29 October 2014
​On behalf of his Excellency the Acting Minister of Health, Eng. Adel bin Mohamed Faqih, the General Executive Director of King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital (KKESH), Dr. Abdul-Elah Al-Towerki, opened the events of the 8th Health Awareness Symposium under the title: "Health Awareness and the New Media", organized by KKESH in collaboration with MOH's Relations, Media and Health Awareness General Department and the Charitable Society for Health Awareness "Hayatona", on Wednesday morning, the 5th of  Muharram, 1436H.
 
In his opening speech, Dr. Al-Towerki said, "I would like to welcome you to King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital for attending the 8th Health Awareness Symposium, which comes this year under the title: 'Health Awareness and New Media'. It is organized by KKESH in collaboration with MOH's Relations, Media and Health Awareness General Department and the Charitable Society for Health Awareness 'Hayatona'."
 
"New media in all its forms and applications have become among the most significant methods which help in delivering knowledge, awareness and refuting the rumors in the community," al-Towerki added. "New media has recently contributed to developing health awareness tool and health promotion. It has become so easy for the medical bodies and centers to reach large segment of the society by using these applications. But, in the meantime, it's very important for these sectors to provide specialized health media working hand-in-hand with the media outlets, and helping in disseminating health culture in the society."
 
"To that end," he continued, "this symposium was organized. It aims at introducing the participants with the new media and how to make use of it scientifically in the programs and activities related to health awareness and health promotion, in addition to boosting health and experience exchange in this field. I wish for the discussion pivots to reflect what benefits the programs of the health awareness and their development in line with the development of new media."
 
He went on to say, "the symposium witnessed participation of 28 lecturers from inside and outside the Kingdom. In addition, the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCHS) has accredited 15 hours of continuing medical education for participants in the in the symposium."
 
Concluding his speech, Dr. Al-Towerki said, "I would like to express may thankfulness to His Excellency the Acting Minister of Health, Eng. Adel Mohamed Faqih, for sponsoring this symposium and for supporting the hospital. I also extend my thanks to the members of the symposium's scientific committee and to the colleagues, organizers and speakers from inside and outside the kingdom, as well as all the attendees."
 
On his part, the Advisor to the Minister of Health, the General Supervisor of MOH's Relations, Media and Health Awareness, who serves also as the MOH Spokesman, Dr. Khaled bin Mohamed Merghalani, said in his speech that "the past decades have witnessed radical change in the pattern of diseases and their spread among the members of the community from the infectious diseases to the chronic ones, especially those which are known as lifestyle diseases, such as blood pressure diseases, heart diseases and diabetes. Many of these diseases are affecting people due to unhealthy habits. The Kingdom, as an integral part of the world, is experiencing this development. Hence comes the importance of this specific symposium we consider today. In doing so, we recognize health education as the cornerstone for the protection against these diseases, and consider it the first step towards health promotion, through which we can uphold knowledge and information, enhance trend-building, and change health habits."   
 
Further, Dr. Merghalani said, "During the past years, countries, as well as, health and educational organizations, focused on upgrading health education concepts, developing them to a science which uses behavioral and educational theories besides the means of communication in addition to learning tools and media principles for boosting health level of individuals and community."
 
"What doubles this happiness is that the symposium comes under the title: 'Health Awareness and New Media'; which reflects the organizers' awareness of the importance of this kind of media and its direct and indirect impacts in guiding the behaviors of the individuals and the community, making use of its tools which have the ability to reach the largest segment of the community as quickly as possible in their places through the modern communication technologies," Merghalani expounded. "As a result, the person has become an integrated means of communication, or, in other worlds, a model of communication, provided that he is the one who prepares, produces and supervises the message. In some cases he is one who is targeted by this message. We consider new media with its all types and applications a source of health knowledge concerned with supporting medical decision by evidences through the opinions of the experts and specialists in health affairs globally. It has imposed a new reality and contained all the previous tools. Now, there is the written, audio and video e-media material, which has enabled a large space of intellectual freedom, and changed the elements of communication as a whole, leading to some sort of overlapping and disappearance of borders between senders and receivers."
 
Over and above, he added that "this symposium would witness participation of experts and lecturers from the World Health Organization (WHO), the heads of the scientific associations specialized in the relations, media and health awareness, MOH's employees, academics in the fields of public relations, media and health awareness from inside and outside the Kingdom, in addition to the experienced people and the practitioners of the  public relations, media and health awareness, in a manner which enhances symposium's opportunity of success, and supports its announced targets, including health promotion, and planning and carrying out health awareness campaigns and programs using social media, in addition to capacity-building and training in utilization of new media."
 
In a similar fashion, the Chairman of the Boards of Directors of the Charitable Society for Health Awareness "Hayatona", Dr. Mohamed Al-Osaimi, said, "The society has shown great interest in new media, and dealt with it as one of the strategies of the current stage and is currently seeking to develop a number of initiatives which will see light soon, Allah willing, including the program of protection against obesity among children, through which an integrated website containing cartoon movies, feature stories in addition to e-games and integrated guide for male and female teachers for implementing the program in the schools, will be established."
 
"The program has mixed between using modern technologies and the concept of education with entertainment. We expect the program to be one of the most innovative programs for boosting children' health, not only at the level of the Kingdom but the entire Arab world," Al-Osaimi added.
 
At the end of the ceremony, Dr. Abdul-Elah Al-Towerki, Dr. Khaled Merghalani and Dr. Mohamed Al-Osaimi honored the speakers, organizers and the company sponsoring the symposium and toured the exhibition accompanying the symposium.
 
 
 
 
 
 



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