WHO Recognizes Masirah as 1st Healthy Island in Middle East
WHO Recognizes Masirah as 1st Healthy Island in Middle East4/6/2023
Masirah Island obtained a certificate of International Recognition from the World Health Organization (WHO) as the First Healthy Island in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
On this occasion, the WHO handed over the recognition certificate to the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a ceremony held today (Sunday) under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Hilal Ali Hilal Al-Sabti, Minister of Health with the presence of H.E. Dr. Fatma Mohammed Al-Ajmi, MOH Undersecretary for Administrative, Financial & Planning Affairs, along with H.E. Dr. Yahiya Bader Al-Mawaali, Governor of South Al-Sharqiyah.
Abdul Hamid Ali Al-Abri, Deputy Wali of Masirah and Head of Executive Office of Masirah Healthy Island, pointed out that the Sultanate of Oman is unique to have the first healthy island regionally and globally.
Al-Abri added that despite challenges represented in the Island’s area, population number, spacing communities, WHO evaluation standards, it was a strong motivation to achieve the goal and accomplish the project.
Saud Amur Al-Nadhiri, Director General of Health Services of South Al-Sharqiyah indicated that the environmental risks are one of the biggest challenges facing civilian life. Following lifestyles of the cities have become an additional threat to individual health, which has led to making changes in the epidemiological map. For example, addressing the communicable diseases, where the diabetes prevalence on the Island is 29%, is not only by the Ministry of Health but also involving the other sectors and society. Therefore, the Ministry of Health has started implementing programs and initiatives based on community and sectoral partnership in response to the WHO concept of “community initiates” such as health cities and villages and healthy lifestyle programs.
The Director General of Health Services of South Al-Sharqiyah added that these programs have made a significant progress in health promotion. Masirah Island is one of the community programs aiming to improve the physical, social and economic life affecting health.
John Jabbour, WHO Representative to the Sultanate of Oman, stressed that the WHO has paid special attention to the healthy cities programs and has developed an action guide for all steps required to adopt the healthy cities starting from submitting a request to join the regional healthy cities network, cooperation with the WHO, implementation phase consisting community organization and mobilization, implementing activities to improve the population health and social status, and promoting health equality. The evaluation phase includes external evaluation by the WHO team and then obtaining the recognition certificate from the WHO regional office.
Masirah Island obtained this title after fulfilling the eighty-evaluation phase, which falls under nine aspects including policies and directives, environmental aspect, health development, education & literacy, community information center, civil committees & volunteers, emergency preparedness, skills development & occupational training, and small loans.