Qatar organised an event in Geneva entitled 'Aligning for Country Impact: 2024 progress report on the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-Being for All', in collaboration with Germany and Ghana.

HE the Minister of Public Health, Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari, attended the event, which was held on the sidelines of the 77th session of the World Health Assembly. Also present were Ghana's Health Minister, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye; Deputy Head of Unit Global Health, German Federal Ministry of Health, Bjorn Kummel; along with over 60 high-level participants in the World Health Assembly, including a number of heads of delegations and directors of health, development and humanitarian agencies.

During the event, HE Dr al-Kuwari launched the executive summary of the Sport for Health report on promoting health and well-being through sporting events, which includes the main points of work in the Sport for Health programme at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Established in October 2021 between Qatar, the World Health Organisation and the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the Sport for Health partnership aimed to make the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 healthy and safe and a model for future major sporting events.

Addressing the event, HE Dr al-Kuwari highlighted the importance of innovation and investing in opportunities arising from government initiatives in various fields to promote health, citing Qatar's Sport for Health programme that used the World Cup to help protect and promote health locally and globally.

She said the programme offered opportunities with the mega sports event serving as a powerful channel for disseminating health messages to millions of people through media outlets and the social media. Yet, HE the Minister highlighted some challenges including healthy food options to World Cup fans and measuring physical activity progress.

Meanwhile, HE Dr al-Kuwari stressed the need for countries and 13 participating agencies to join ranks and resources to accelerate progress in implementing the SDG3 related to Good Health and Well-Being.

This needs to devise new ways of working that focus on achieving tangible results with a real impact on public health, and to develop strategies that ensure that health is a top priority for all governments, HE the Minister added, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the close connection between health and the economy and society.

In this respect, the approach must go beyond healthcare to consider societal determinants responsible for the majority of the populations health and well-being, she added.

Among the speakers was HE Hassan al-Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the organisation responsible for co-ordinating amongst public and private entities to ensure that infrastructure and development projects were delivered in readiness for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. He said this report details how Qatar and its stakeholders delivered a healthy and safe World Cup amid a global pandemic.

The report covers the positive local and global impacts of Qatar's approach and will serve as a guide for countries to stimulate similar approaches to collaboration and innovation when organizing similar future tournaments, HE al-Thawadi said.

In his opening message to the executive summary of the Sport for Health report, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that health promotion, advocacy and security can be adopted during all mega sporting events, with the WHO committed to ensuring that sporting events continue to be powerful drivers of sustainable health.

During the event, a World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) team made introductory presentations on the global initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, scheduled to be held Nov 13-14 in Doha. The conference brings together leaders, pioneers, innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs and healthcare workers from around the world, with the aim of searching for innovative solutions to the major global health challenges.
Related Story