Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) yesterday launched the second phase of its Sahtak Awalan: Your Health First programme in the presence of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) chairperson HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. The occasion marked celebrations of the first five years’ achievements of the programme.
“Today is the culmination of a whole lot of efforts of multiple groups and individuals to bring a lasting change in the behaviour of our younger generation,” WCM-Q dean Dr Javaid Sheikh told Gulf Times.
“Our objective is nothing less than transforming the health of the whole nation within one generation. Today is the culmination of the first phase and the second phase starts today. You will see the real transformation in the third phase,” he explained.
The audience at the event included prominent Qatari enterpreneuer HE Sheikh Fasial bin Qassim al- Thani, other dignitaries from various stakeholders of the programme as well as more than 1,000 school students who have been part of the campaign. The event highlighted the campaign’s achievements with figures and facts as well as  its future five year strategic plans to build up on the success.
Launched in association with the Ministry of Public Health, Sahtak Awalan’s strategic partners include QF, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Occidental Petroleum, ExxonMobil, and Qatar Olympic Committee. Officials from the partnering organisations received a memento from HH Sheikha Moza during the event for their support for the programme.
HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, vice chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, said in message: “The health of our young people is paramount to the future of our nation. They will one day help lead Qatar and we ought to ensure they are healthy and able to live up to their full potential. Qatar is a nation that is a vanguard for productive change and with the support of Qatar Foundation, that is exactly what Your Health First is doing – helping children and families make a positive change.”
HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari, noted: “The Ministry of Public Health is committed to working closely with Sahtak Awalan so that together we can educate people about healthy living, exercise and nutrition and enable them to make informed choices about their health. We recognise that the lifestyle diseases within Qatar’s population threaten to reduce our quality of life unless we work together to reverse their rising trend.”
The sporting activities of Sahtak Awalan include The Color Run and The Challenge. While The Color Run, brought to Qatar for the first time, has seen 13,000 people run the 5km course, the indoor inter-school sporting challenge has seen more than 1,000 children take part.
Among Sahtak Awalan’s most successful and innovative initiatives are the Project Greenhouse, the School Canteens, Yalla Natural, Your Healthy Choice, and the smoothie bikes.
The programme has erected greenhouses at 82 independent elementary schools and aims to cover all the 193 schools under the ministry soon.
Your Health First’s social media campaign has reached more than 125,000 followers on Facebook, 4,000 on Twitter and 1,500 on Instagram and over 500,000 views on its YouTube channel.

Related Story