Prevent, Treat, Beat Diabetes – World Health Day 2016 around the Maldives
7th April 2016- The World Health Day is celebrated worldwide each year by different countries. It is a special day marked annually where the WHO selects a priority area of global public health concern. This year the theme is Diabetes: how to prevent it, how to treat it and most importantly how to beat it. With Diabetes being the 8th leading cause of death worldwide and the 9th leading cause for death in the Maldives, it is crucial to halt the rise in diabetes by conducting efforts to promote awareness and improve the quality of life for those who are living with the burden of this disease.
Under this initiative, World Health Day for WHO Maldives Country Office kick started with Dr Arvind Mathur giving the morning address to the students of Majeedhiyya School, the oldest school in Maldives, on the occasion of World Health Day 2016. The WHO Representative guided the pupils to be more active in their routine lives, and to eat healthy by introducing more fruits and vegetables into their diets.
In the afternoon, WHO’s global ‘Walk the Talk’ campaign was launched in the Ministry of Health building with the joint collaboration of WHO Maldives Country team and the Health Protection Agency of the Maldives. Colorful stickers with messages of encouragement were developed in country context and were pasted on the staircases. The launching ceremony was graced by Her Excellency Minister of Health Ms Iruthisham Adam, officials and staff from the Ministry of Health and WHO Maldives Country Office team.
Speaking at the inauguration, Dr Arvind Mathur noted that the campaign was launched to advocate taking the stairs whenever possible instead of the elevators as a small step towards achieving a healthier lifestyle.. The ceremony concluded with all staff of the Ministry of Health and WHO Country office taking the stairs to their respective offices.
Afterwards, Dr Arvind Mathur was invited to launch the ‘Prenatal Exercise Programme’ by the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital on the occasion of World Health Day 2016. The leading doctor of the department Dr Aseel Jaleel spoke of the importance of being active during pregnancy to avoid gestational diabetes and expressed his concern over the rising number of non-communicable diseases in the country.
Additionally; Health centers, resorts, NGOs, private companies and atoll offices took the initiative to celebrate World Health Day around Maldives. Some notable activities were Health Screenings at Shangri La Resort , Lhohi and Gaafu Dhaal atoll, educational sessions for doctors and nurses by Maldives Medical Association, First Aid Session at Velidhoo, awareness sessions for three primary schools, World Health Day Walk by Thaa Atoll Hospital, in-house activities by Vilimale’ Hospital and Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital for patients, friendly netball game played by Gnaviyani AH and Kangaroo Kids school to promote physical activity, Aqua aerobics session by Glowfit gym at Kudahuvadhoo island, Bike ride at Gaafu Dhaal Atoll and Healthy food exhibition at Thaa Atoll Hospital etc.
WHO Maldives praises the Government of Maldives for the extraordinary number of activities that were held to mark World Health Day in 2016 and are honored to be partners in change and awareness for Diabetes in the country and assures full commitment as we continue to be a trusted and credible partner with the Ministry of Health.