MOH News
Riyadh Hosts a Global Conference to Discuss How to Diminish Non-communicable Diseases Mortality
09 September 2012
   The Arab World's eyes are set upon Riyadh which will host the Global Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Diseases in the Arab World and Middle East, from 10 to 12 September 2012. The conference is organized by the Ministry of Health, under the generous auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, May Allah protect him, at Prince Sultan Grand Hall, in Al-Faisaliah Hotel. The Arab countries, as well as the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Countries, are looking forward to develop the necessary policies and strategies for diminishing the mortality of non-communicable diseases by 25% in 2025.
The head of the Media, Relations and Events of the Conference, the MOH Spokesman, Dr. Khaled al-Merghalani, pointed out that the conference will formulate a road map and a detailed work plan to be materialized in the Arab World and Middle East based on the facts on the national and regional capabilities, in an endeavor to set an develop the national objectives and indicators related to the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, in addition to carry out a number of interventions against such diseases, and enhancing regional and international relations in this regard; 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 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.
“The conference is planned to witness several sessions to discuss a number of heatedly debated topics,” Dr. Merghalani added. “Among the most notable of such topics the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and their hazardous risk on the entire region, and the risk factors triggering non-communicable diseases, as well as the national programs meant to overcome non-communicable diseases, and the challenges and impediments facing these programs, especially in Jordan. It will also discuss the National Program for Non-communicable diseases in KSA, UAE, Kuwait, Oman and North Africa.”
He added that round-table discussions will be held immediately after the inauguration, with the participation of a number of ministers and specialists. They will cover a variety of topics, most notably the physical activity and healthy lifestyles (current situation and the work priorities in the region), diet and eating behaviors (current situation and the work priorities in the region), and tobacco control (current situation and the work priorities in the region).
Dr. Merghalani further explained that the conference will witness a workshop on the obligation food labels, including all the necessary nutritional information (calories, etc.). This workshop will be basically assumed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in coordination with the Food and Drug Authority. Another workshop to be hosted by the conference will be assumed by the Youth Welfare General Presidency under the theme: “Sport for a Better Life”. A third workshop, to be assumed by the Ministry of Agriculture, will shed light on nutritional balance, and how to choose balanced and healthy food. Besides, there will be a workshop on the use of technology in health awareness, and how to make best use of social networks. A fifth workshop will discuss how to enhance medical researches that have to do with non-communicable diseases. The last work shop is devoted to discussing anti-smoking.
Dr. Merghanlani made clear that the mortality caused by non-communicable diseases is on the increase. It has risen to 63%, and it is expected to mount to 80% over the upcoming ten years, unless countries consolidate efforts and policies to put an end to the spread of such diseases.
He 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. Those suffering from physical-activity-related problems make up 33.38%. “The conference will be attended by several government bodies and scientific associations,” Dr. Memish concluded.
It is noteworthy, the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCHS) has accredited 20 continuing training hours for participants in the conference.

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