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Sharjah to be declared ME's first healthy city

SHARJAH, September 28, 2015

Sharjah will be officially declared the first healthy city in the Middle East by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday (September 30) based on the new criteria set by its Healthy Cities programme.

According to the WHO, a healthy city is one that continually creates and improves its physical and social environments and expands the community resources that enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and developing to their maximum potential.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the Healthy City Programme will be launched at a special ceremony in the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre, in the presence of senior WHO officials.   

The programme helps key stakeholders in city’s management to harness leadership, innovation and change in order to promote better health and well-being of residents, and address local public health challenges.

The WHO initiative engages local governments in health development in an effort to prioritise health on the social, economic and political agenda of the community.

Sharjah had joined the WHO Healthy Cities Programme in 2012 to put health at the top of the social, economic and development agenda of the emirate and ensure the wellbeing of its residents.  

Over a period of three years, Sharjah has been able to meet 88 per cent of the 80 criteria for membership in the Healthy Cities programme, above the 80 per cent minimum required by the WHO.

In fact, the emirate was able to meet 40 of the criteria before it even joined the programme. Experts from the UN health watchdog have assisted the Sharjah government in embracing global best practices and meeting the exacting criteria of the WHO Healthy Cities Programme, said a senior officials.  

Over the years, following the directives of its leadership, Sharjah has systematically invested in and implemented initiatives to improve the health, safety and well-being of its residents - from upgrading transport infrastructure to embracing internationally recognised environment practices and standards of waste management.

The WHO officials commended Sharjah’s commitment to a healthy environment and its successful implementation of the criteria specified by the UN body, which earned it the rare distinction of becoming the first city in the region to join the WHO Healthy Cities Programme based on the new criteria.

The programme identifies a comprehensive list of criteria for Healthy Cities, including a high-quality, clean and safe environment; the ability of the city to meet basic needs of residents and offer a variety of public resources; connectedness with the city’s heritage; and an optimum level of public health and care services.

The global health body said Sharjah will also be a regional training centre for other cities seeking an endorsement to join the programme.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Sharjah | World Health Organisation | Health |

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