The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) represented by the Health Education and Promotion Department, participated in the Emirates Marathon for Kids organized under the slogan “with determination and mettle no to obesity”, at Mamzar Garden, Dubai. The event was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as part of the community sports initiative which was developed in cooperation with the Dubai Sports Council. The participation also falls in line with the world-wide celebrations for Children’s Day and the UAE’s National Day activities.
The Emirates Marathon featured several recreational activities aimed at promoting awareness on key social issues for the benefit of the children and their parents. The event witnessed the participation of over 5000 people, composed mostly of children between 5 and 13 years old.
During the event, the Ministry organized various programs and activities for both children and parents. This included a service that allows parents to check their BMI, as well as several sessions to help facilitate healthier shopping methods and cultivate positive lifestyle choices by showcasing healthy dishes and providing nutritional advice. In addition to the coloring corner for the children, the Ministry also implemented the Heroes for Health initiative, which was developed to meet the objectives of the National Agenda 2021 and combat obesity among children by providing the right instruction to help them adopt healthy and positive lifestyle choices.
The project aims to present health education in an entertaining and innovative manner to the children, through games and exciting activities that will help instill healthy practices. It also aims to encourage them to pursue physical activity through a number of electronic games; focus on developing their cooking skills, by showing them how to opt for healthier versions of their favorite foods; and encouraging them to wash their hands to avoid diseases.
In this context, Dr. Hussein Abdel-Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry’s Health & Prevention Assistant Sector - Health Centers and Clinics, expressed his delight at the Ministry’s participation in the national sporting event. He also emphasized the importance of national solidarity and community partnership, reflected in the Ministry’s cooperation with the Dubai Sports Council, which falls in line with their efforts to promote healthy lifestyle choices within the UAE society through the launch of innovative health initiatives that motivate community members to pursue physical exercise and encourage families and children to implement positive and sustainable lifestyle choices.
Dr. Fadila Mohammed Sharif, Director, Health Education and Promotion, said “The Ministry remains steadfast in its commitment towards participating in community-based health initiatives. As such, we have let our support in the launch of numerous health initiatives, the most recent one of which is the project to promote awareness of healthy lifestyles choices, which features an integrated education campaign designed to motivate members of the community to adopt healthy behaviors such as exercise and a healthy diet.”
The activities at Mamzar Park is expected to draw the attendance of people from all walks of life, in line with the strategic goal of the National Agenda 2021 to reduce the rate of obesity in children, strengthen communication ties and cultivate healthy lifestyle choices.