MOH News
King Abdullah to Patronize the Global Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Diseases
02 September 2012
   Under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, May Allah protect him, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is organizing the Global Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Diseases in the Arab World and Middle East, from 10 to 12 September 2012, to be held at Prince Sultan Grand Hall, al-Faisaliyah Hotel.
In a press conference held on Tuesday at the MOH Conference Room, the Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health, and head of the organizing committee of the conference, Dr. Zeyad Memish, announced that the Ministry of Health will organize this conference in recognition of the importance of combating non-communicable diseases. That's why the Ministry has made every effort to make success of this conference, which will be attended by 62 specialized experts, coming along from local, regional and international bodies and authorities, in addition to twelve Arab ministers of health. The conference will be held in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), and will be attended, also, by the delegations of the ministries of health, the ministries of foreign affairs, the ministries of planning of the member-states the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region and the Arab League, as well as representatives of the UN programs, agencies and funds. In addition, it is expected that many international financial institutions, development banks and international organizations, aside from specialized experts from all over the world, will participate in the conference.
Dr. Memish pointed out that crucial among the objectives appointed for the conference were: raising the political awareness of the roles and responsibilities to be assumed by governments in combating non-communicable diseases, which are on the rise, and reducing their hazardous effects on the public health, as well as accentuating social and economic development in the Arab World and Middle East, putting forward the necessary regional strategies for the fulfillment of the political commitment, as prescribed by the Political Declaration of the Meeting of the General Assembly's High-level Panel on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, adopted by the presidents and representatives of countries on September 19, 2011, while convening at the UN Headquarters, in New York on September 19 and 20, 2011. The conference is hoped, also, to serve as an international and regional forum reiterating that the governments' objective can only be attained when health is reckoned by all sectors as an indispensable constituent element in all policies, and taking this criterion into account when choosing officials, leaders, and decision makers.
The conference will tackle a number of pivotal issues related to the most updated information on the extent of non-communicable diseases, and their impact on the national plans and strategies that have to do with public health, as well as social and economic development. It will also discuss the strategies, tools and objectives internationally approved, as well as a variety of efficient, cost-effective interventions to be taken into consideration by the region's states in an endeavor to enhance the national plans and policies associated with surveillance and prevention, and improve the healthcare provided for patients with non-communicable diseases, as well as strengthening the regional and international relations in the face of such diseases; thus providing a better environment in the Arab World and the Middle East, thereby improving lifestyles and providing better health options, and promoting all the national capacities related to the prevention and on non-communicable diseases.
It followed that Dr. Memish enumerated a number of the authorities, agencies and scientific societies taking part in the conference; most notably the General Presidency of Youth Welfare, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Higher Education, the Food and Drug Authority, the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCHS), King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, the Ministry of Islamic Affair, Endowments, Da'wah and Guidance, Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the MOI's Health Services General Department, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Culture and Information, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the MOD's Health Services General Department, the National Guard's Health Affairs, Saudi Aramco, the Council of Health Services (CHS), the GCC General Secretariat, King Fahad Medical City, the Ministry of Economics and Planning, Saudi Oncology Society, Saudi Heart Association, Saudi Thoracic Society, Saudi Diabetes & Endocrine Association, Saudi Osteoporosis Society, Saudi Ophthalmological Society, and Saudi Hypertension Society (SHAMS).
Following that, Dr. Memish shed light on non-communicable diseases, and the diseases associated with them, such as obesity, which, in its turn, is associated with four basic disorders: cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. All such diseases are non-communicable, and they result in diminishing productivity, and burdens families with high cost, in spite of the improvement of men's and women's health in the region.
Dr. Memish further expounded that the Kingdom has recorded the statistics of non-communicable diseases: the ratio of diabetes in the Saudi society has mounted to 14%, out of whom 28% are over 30. About 36% of people suffer from obesity, and 19.3% suffer from high cholesterol. About 13.10% of Saudi people suffer from the complication of tobacco-use, and 26% of them suffer from hypertension. Dr. Memish concluded by saying that the ration of death caused by non-communicable diseases has risen to 65%, and it is expected to mount to 75% over the upcoming ten years.

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