Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman, represented by the Ministry of Health (MOH) is hosting a regional workshop on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) among children and adolescents.
The Sultanate of Oman, represented by the Ministry of Health (MOH), hosted yesterday the opening ceremony of a three-day regional workshop on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Priorities in children and adolescents in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) at InterCity Hotel Muscat.
The MOH Directorate General of Primary Health Care jointly organised the three-day Regional Workshop in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO) and the NCD Child which is a global multi-stakeholder coalition championing the rights and needs of children, adolescents, and young people who are living with or at risk of developing non-communicable diseases.
The workshop highlighted the importance of addressing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) in children and adolescents.
The opening ceremony of the workshop was held under the auspices of H.E. Majid bin Said Al-Bahri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for Administrative and Financial Affairs, with the presence of H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for Eastern Mediterranean Region along with a number of undersecretaries and MOH and WHO senior officials.
H.E. Dr. Said bin Harib Al-Lamki, MOH Undersecretary for Health Affairs, highlighted, in his opening speech, the importance, and burden of non-communicable diseases in children and adolescents. He added that non-communicable diseases continue to be a significant public health challenge worldwide and a leading cause of mortality.
Furthermore, the MOH Undersecretary for Health Affairs indicated that the workshop not only discuss NCDs in children and adolescents but also extends to shed light on the prevalence of diseases among youth, which raises the alarm, and advocates to further cooperate with the related international organisations to develop strategies and raise awareness on these diseases.
“We need to prioritise action to address NCD risk factors at an early age and ensure that children and adolescents are not being left behind” stated Dr. Ahmed Al Mandhari, Regional Director for the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region.
Dr. Alafia Samuels, Chair of NCD Child said: “I’m very excited at the opportunity to meet the young leaders from the Eastern Mediterranean Region to discuss how they can enhance prevention and control of NCDs and their risk factors among youth.”
The three-day workshop aims to advocate for NCD priorities in children and adolescents in the EMR, across the continuum of care. The outcomes of this workshop will shift the paradigm in addressing NCD in children not only in Oman but for the entire region.
Research indicates that significant risk factors of non-communicable diseases commence in childhood. Those risks include physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, exposure to alcohol and tobacco, mental health issues and unhealthy or unsafe environments.
This places great emphasis on the importance of investing in prevention strategies in the coming generation and ensuring the inclusion of all ages within all NCD related agendas.
In Oman, non-communicable diseases lead to the death of more than 4,800 Omanis every year with nearly one in five adults dying from an NCD before the age of 70. A similar situation prevails in the region, with NCDs driving the disease burden in all member states.
As we continue to suffer from the toll of NCDs in adults we realise that adult- based strategies will not deliver the desired change.
The mortality rate for children and adolescents in the EMR is the second highest among the WHO regions; coupled with the fact that the 10-19 age group constitute one fifth of the population in the EMR, calls for prioritising children and adolescents health interventions in the region.