Arab Children Health Congress

Encouraging more of physical activity and promoting child nutrition will be the focus of this year's Arab Children Health Congress (ACHC) 2008 scheduled to take place from March 24 to 27 at the Dubai International Convention Centre.

ACHC recently announced a partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the congress. At a Press conference held recently, it was announced that WHO will work with the ACHC on developing an action plan on diet, physical activity and health for it's Eastern Mediterranean Region Office (EMRO).

"This action plan will be the first to be developed among WHO's six regions and is an implementation of the recommendations of the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, " explained Dr Rowaida Al Maaitah, Public Health Professor and Chairperson Scientific Committee at ACHC.

She explained that the strategy addresses two of the major risk factors responsible for the heavy and growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers and obesity-related conditions. "WHO will also present a regional plan on promoting a positive culture for a healthy lifestyle and stress on school programmes, " she added.

"It is important for us to continue promoting healthy eating habits and physical activity among children in the region. The prevalence of obesity and other nutrition-related diseases have seen a marked increase not only in the Middle East, but worldwide, " said Qadi Saeed Al Murooshid, Director General, Dubai Health Authority.

Health, education and social experts will discuss relevant and pressing issues related to children with a focus on raising public awareness on health concerns faced by young people in the UAE and Middle East and North Africa region.

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