Federal government efforts towards enhancing health education awareness from all angles to reduce lifestyle non-communicable diseases

As part of the ministry’s priority to increase health awareness and education to the community, several activities and programs were conducted, in conjunction with the world health organization where five emirates in the UAE (Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah) were participated in the WHO initiative for “1000 Cities 1000 Lives”  which seeks to open up public spaces to health, e.g. activities in parks, clean-up campaigns or closing off portions of streets to motorized vehicles, as well as to collect 1000 stories of urban health champions who have taken action and had a significant impact on health in their cities.

Other activities planned by the Ministry of Health included events such as World Diabetes Day, World Tobacco Control Day and World Asthma Day under the theme “Asthma, a disease that can be controlled”. The Ministry of Health also organized public awareness through the World Heart Day, World Food Day, World Breast Cancer Control Day, World HIV/AIDS and Natural Breast Feeding Day, in addition to holding the first psychiatric health conference in the UAE. The Ministry of Health also issued the annual school health education plan for the years 2011 - 2012 and implemented the adolescents’ health program and health survey initiative in cooperation with the WHO and Communicable Disease Centre in the USA. All the results of the survey studies were published and made available. There was also an awareness lecture about diabetes which was organized with Dubai Women Association. Several short messages were published in local newspapers with comprehensive health information about Ramadan and fasting in the ministry’s website as well Dubai TV and Sama Dubai TV stations. Additionally, awareness messages in the social networking services “facebook, twitter and blackberry” were also displayed about the dangers of using tobacco products among the community members. The world health organization annual report also gave a report about the applications of the UAE’s six policies and the international survey of using tobacco among UAE adults.