MOH News
Minsters of Health and Education Launch "Rashaqa" Initiative to Reduce Obesity Rates among School students
20 February 2017
Their Excellencies the Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah and Minister of Education Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Issa have inaugurated today, Monday, morning, Rahsaq initiative to reduce rates of obesity among school students, at Al-Rabie bin Amer School in the Compound of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Riyadh.
 
The initiative is coinciding with the beginning of the second academic year. At the first stage, the initiative will be implemented in 1,000 schools in 6 regions, namely: Riyadh, Jeddah, Najran, Al-Jouf, Eastern Region and Makkah, under the sponsorship of Quafina and Quaker companies.
The ceremony started with recitation of the Hoy Quran, followed by a welcoming speech by the two ministers, a documentary and introductory film about the initiative and a speech by Dr. Shaker Al-Amry, the Director the Initiative, then the honoring of the sponsorship companies and participants in the initiative.
 
Meanwhile, the two ministers honored the winning students of the initiative's painting competition, and then toured the mini exhibition held on this occasion. Also, the two ministers and guests joined the students in their healthy breakfast prepared by the school and in their exercises in the school yard. 
  
The initiative, which targets 6,000 schools in 5 years, starting with 1000 schools during its first year, comes as one of the initiatives through which the MOH seeks to mobilize resources and joint efforts of the concerned national parties to ease the burden of obesity on citizen and community. Also, 20% of the Kingdoms' schools will be covered during the coming five years regarding promotion of the healthy lifestyle, including improvement of food habits and increasing physical activity of male and female students and their association with many non-communicable diseases such as: diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, hypertension, arthritis and others. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1.4 billion adults are overweight, of these over half billion are obese worldwide. And more than 40 million children under the age of 5, around the world, are overweight. And the rates of obesity in the Kingdom reached 28.7% and the rates of overweight is 30.7% for the age group of 15 years and older, according to the results achieved by the National Survey for the Health Information in 2013.
 
One study indicated that the rate of school age students with overweight reached 23% and those with obesity amounted to 9.3%. Based on these information, the MOH, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, adopted an initiative to reduce obesity rates among school students (Rashaqa), by means of improving food habits, increasing physical activity for student (male and female) and raising awareness about the risks of obesity and ways of prevention, considering that the school is the right place for preventive interventions, in addition to taking advantage of the spread of primary health care centers inside housing areas in all region of the Kingdom and easy access to them and that all schools have connection with the nearest center. Also, the initiative aims to reduce obesity prevalence rates amongst children and adolescents in the Kingdom by 5% in selected schools, during the coming 5 years. 
 
The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Vice Minister of Health for Health Affairs, Mr. Hamad Al-Duweila', Director General of Education, Dr. Abdullah Al-Manie and Assistant Director General of Education for School Affairs, Mr. Hamad Al-Shenaiber.
 
 
 



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