Dr Abdulaziz Saeed Al Muhairi, Director of Sharjah Health Authority and Chairman of the newly formed Executive Committee for Expansion of Healthy Cities in Sharjah, has thanked HH Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of Sharjah Executive Council, for taking steps to further strengthen the Emirate's status as a healthy city that proudly meets the WHO (World Health Organisation) criteria for Healthy Cities Programme.
Dr Al Muhairi was speaking during the first meeting of the Executive Committee for Expansion of Healthy Cities in Sharjah held on Tuesday at the headquarters of Sharjah Health Authority (SHA). Chaired by Dr Al Muhairi, the Committee reviewed the Sharjah Executive Council’s Resolution No. 6 of 2018 and discussed the scope and necessary steps that are needed to expand the network of healthy cities and strengthen the healthcare infrastructure across the Emirate.
Dr Al Muhairi stressed the importance of expanding the network of healthy cities as part of the efforts for an integrated and healthy Emirate that adheres to best global health and environmental practices in all its facilities in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
The Committee for the Expansion of Healthy Cities in Sharjah includes Sheikha Najla Ali Al-Mualla, Director of Central Laboratories Department at Sharjah Municipality, Hessa Al Khaja, Director of Sharjah Educational Zone, Brigadier General Khalifa Al-Marri, Deputy Director General of Resources and Support Services at the Sharjah Police, Dr Ameera Al Khaja, Ministry of Health and Community Protection, Hessa Al Hammadi, Manager of Government Communication Department at the Sharjah Government Media Bureau, Hanadi Saleh Al Yafei, Director of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Abdullah Al Mehrazi, Director of Innovation and Development, Department of Statistics and Community Development, and Kholoud Al Nuaimi, Director of Social Licencing Department, Social Services Department.
Dr Al Muhairi emphasised that Sharjah’s recognition as the first Arab city to join WHO’s Healthy Cities Programme is a huge honour for the Emirate and recognises the Emirate’s efforts to offer world-class healthcare and facilities in accordance with the highest standards of quality to its people and enhances the leadership role of the Emirate.
The meeting discussed the mechanisms and procedures for enforcing the standards of healthy cities in all regions of the Emirate.
The Committee stressed the importance of mobilising resources and involving all stakeholders to implement the norms of the healthy cities programme, identifying and evolving appropriate strategies and mechanisms to boost the health profile of the Emirate. It also agreed to set up a scientific database to follow up on the healthy development plan and the health impact factors in coordination with all sectors related to the Emirate.
The committee discussed the strategic plan to follow up the programme through institutional and community partnership in order to expand the accreditation of Sharjah Health City and the addition of other previously approved areas.
The committee members called for implementing all the tasks suggested by the Sharjah Executive Council according to the highest standards of quality and by forming a specialised team at the Emirate level representing all stakeholders besides an operational plan and periodic reports to reduce lifestyle diseases by encouraging the community to follow healthy lifestyles.
In 2015, the WHO adopted Sharjah as the first healthy city in the region, within the WHO regional network after meeting all the new health standards related to healthy cities. The World Healthy Cities Programme promotes overall community health and works in accordance with the principle of improving the environmental, social and economic aspects that affect health and the adoption of collective action and the constant search for innovation.