The World Health Organization (WHO) awarded the municipalities of Doha and Al Rayyan its “Healthy City” title in a ceremony earlier this week. The event, which took place in Msheireb Downtown, was organised by the Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and Qatar Foundation (QF). The WHO also named QF’s Education City a “Healthy Education City”.
What’s a Healthy City?
The WHO defines a healthy city as “an urban area which maintains and improves the social and natural environment and enables people to support each other through developing their potential to promote health”. It says that its Healthy City programme aims to promote good health and well-being in cities, improve the quality of life of communities, and implement policies to help tackle the causes of ill health. The WHO considers cities with the Healthy City title to have met nine criteria, two of which include water and food safety and education.
What this Means for Qatar
Her Excellency Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, the Minister of Public Health, said that Qatar’s adoption of the Healthy City programme aligns with its goal to promote universal health. She stated: “We aim to promote physical and mental health for all members of our population through our health strategy and the Qatar National Vision 2030.”
Additionally, His Excellency Mr Abdulla bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie, the Minister of Municipality, shared his belief that this award resulted from efforts to develop all of Qatar’s municipalities and provide their residents with good quality services. He also affirmed that the MME’s goals are to maintain “eco-friendly cities with green, healthy, and scenic facilities” and improve people’s quality of life.
Why Education City?
According to QF, some of the reasons Education City was named a Healthy Education City include:
• its schools and universities, for their engagement with health-promoting initiatives
• high-quality healthcare services
• accessible and quality-controlled health food markets
• its community-based waste management system
Dr Al Kuwari said that Qatar aims to get the remaining six municipalities accredited as healthy cities.