Bahrain’s endeavour to fight obesity as a top priority

healthcare - September 19, 2021

President of the Supreme Council of Health (SCH), Lieutenant General Dr. Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, the Chairman of Bahrain Diabetes Society (BDS), has affirmed the Kingdom of Bahrain’s endeavour to fight obesity as a top priority in the national plan to achieve the sustainable development goals and reduce premature deaths from non-communicable diseases by 2030.

The SCH President was speaking as he opened today “Bahrain Obesity Academy” conference which is organized by BDS in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the King Hamad University Hospital and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

In his inaugural speech of the two-day event, Lieutenant General Dr. Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa highlighted the kingdom’s efforts to fight overweight under a national scheme that includes a wide range of measures like physical activities, healthy nutrition, establishing specialized clinics, promoting healthy lifestyles.

The SCH President asserted Bahrain’s commitment to reducing the spread of non-communicable diseases, pointing out the increasing awareness of this issue and the need for radical measures to fight obesity which has gone up over the past years. He also warned of the repercussions of this disease, being chronic and dangerous for both the individual and the community.

Lieutenant General Dr. Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said “Bahrain Obesity Academy” will contribute to preparing a comprehensive educational programme for 45 doctors in the Kingdom of Bahrain on prevention, diagnosis and management of obesity to enable them to provide the necessary assistance to overweight patients.

For her part, the Health Ministry Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health, Dr. Meriam Al Hajeri, said that “Bahrain Obesity Academy” conference is the first medical conference held in- person since the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. She added the conference is being held according to the precautionary health measures that are consistent with the alert signal, in line with the directives of the National Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

She pointed out that many participants attended the conference online, pointing out that the number of attendees exceeded 150 participants. She noted that holding the conference is deemed an encouraging step for the return of such conferences in the future. She also emphasized the danger posed by obesity on people’s health and on exhausting healthcare resources.

Dr. Al Hajeri pointed out that a national health survey conducted in the Kingdom of Bahrain in 2018 demonstrated that % 25.7 of the expatriates suffered from obesity while the rate stood at % 42.8 among citizens. She added that % 39.8 of the residents and % 33.2 of the citizens were overweight. Therefore, she noted, it has become urgent to give obesity top priority in fighting it. She also pointed out the increasing awareness of the role played by obesity in causing many chronic diseases, stressing the regional and international efforts to tackle this problem.

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