Muscat – On the occasion of World Health Day, celebrated annually on April 7, the Ministry of Health (MoH), the Ministry of Education and the World Health Organization in Oman, came together to advocate for a healthier society and take strategic actions to create conditions for people to thrive.
This year, WHO called on to reimagine our world for a healthier tomorrow under the theme ‘Our planet. Our health’.
‘If there is anything that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it is the fundamental importance of a healthier environment. And having that as the focus, all partners have agreed on two main activities to promote a healthy lifestyle as well as awareness about health and healthcare,’ stated MoH.
Two special events marked the celebrations of the day. A short film competition, launched on April 7, targeted the sultanate’s schools, with its main theme ‘For a better environment and better health’.
The second was a beach cleanup initiative organised across 11 governorates of the sultanate. ‘In the beach cleanup, the students contributed by showcasing the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Both activities saw engagement from school students, teachers, and other partners,’ MoH said.
‘The main purpose of the events was to raise awareness on the link between climate change and environmental health, focusing on encouraging youth advocacy and leadership towards community engagement and a healthier planet.’
Additionally, the beach clean-up helped to promote health, inform, educate, and motivate school students to be part in creating a healthier world by promoting healthier living.
On the occasion, Dr Jean Yaacoub Jabbour, WHO Representative to Oman, said, “With the climate crisis, which is the single biggest health threat facing humanity, we need to have urgent actions to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being.”
Environment-related issues are among the major causes of health problems worldwide. WHO estimates that more than 13mn deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes. In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, environmental risks, including climate change, are responsible for 23 per cent of the total burden of disease and as much as 30 per cent of the disease burden for children.