World Food Day is on October 16th and the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) is joining countries across the world and food security organizations to celebrate it. This year’s World Food Day 2020 is coinciding with unprecedented times of coronavirus pandemic outbreak, which is also accompanied by the specially stressed realization of importance of sustainable healthy nutrition systems and ensuring that natural resources and biodiversity is maintained.
MoHAP has been working persistently and relentlessly to improve nutritional standards of community members of the Emirates. Based on the collective vision of the leaders, MoHAP launched National Nutrition Strategy last year along with National Nutrition Guidelines in association with 18 public authorities. MoHAP has launched the programs with the objective to reduce chronic diseases and malnutrition among the communities, curb morbidities and mortalities related infectious diseases. MoHAP also aims to raise awareness among the people around importance of physical activity and the relation it has with food safety. The Ministry has the view of making people of the Emirates conscious and mindful of the intake of nutritiously balanced food and active lifestyle with more physical activity. The leadership has the aim to enhance long term immunity of communities through mindful eating and lifestyle choices.
The National Nutrition Strategy implementation across the Emirates would help in decreasing current rate of hospitalizations and thus treatment costs and also ensure the health and raised immunity levels of future generations. This will also achieve food security and as chain reaction would improve the quality and viability of life.
Dr. Youssif Al Serkal, Director-General of the Emirates Health Services Corporation said, “The National Nutrition Strategy is a unique important reference for food-related public and private institutions, while the National Nutrition Guidelines constitute a reference for food awareness and education for both individuals and public and private institutions to regulate food behavior and follow health and balanced lifestyle to prevent diseases that affect their lives, including chronic diseases, malnutrition, and obesity, especially among children and women.”
He added, “The strategy aims primarily to develop sustainable solutions to nutritional and health challenges.” He thus stressed that implementing the strategy will help reducing the rate and prevalence of malnutrition and chronic diseases among people through ensured nutritional food intake. The result will be a rise in competitive health standards, education, innovation and quality of life.
Al Serkal continued, “MoHAP offers a wide range of preventive and curative nutrition services supportive of the patient treatment plan in hospitals. This comes as part of MoHAP’s plans to improve the quality of nutrition services provided to patients. All patients in hospitals receive appropriate therapeutic nutritional care, thanks to the presence of well-qualified nutritionists who assess and diagnose the nutritional status, and nutritional intervention prior to providing the nutritional advice with the constant follow-up.”
Al Serkal emphasized that it is ensured that al the food services under the programme would be delivered in accordance to the highest international standards and several international accreditation certificates related to food safety. This will be specially looked into citing the current Covid-19 pandemic conditions, thereby ensuring patient safety. He further pointed out that currently MoHAP is working on developing a food services e-system that is again as per the highest global standards.
Healthy nutrition and active lifestyle go hand-in-hand when it comes to developing a long lasting immunity. The current pandemic times make it even more important to include nutritional and balanced food intake a priority.