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Ministry of Public Health develops health improvement plans for women and children
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Ministry of Public Health develops health improvement plans for women and children

Tribune News Network
Doha
Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) and its partners work on achieving the national targets outlined in Qatar’s National Health Strategy 2018-2022. Two of the key areas the Strategy focuses on are the health of women, and the health of children and adolescents.
According to a recent STEPS survey, approximately 68% of Qatari women are overweight, 90% eat less than five servings of fruits or vegetables a day, and over 80% do not engage in physical activity.
A detailed plan was developed to ensure women are supported and empowered early in life to take care of themselves and their children through improved health literacy, in addition to offering them high-quality, coordinated care that guides them during pregnancy and beyond. The plan for this population group also aims to improve the monitoring of the causes of maternal complications, as well as national protocols and guidelines for maternity care in Qatar.
“A woman’s health choices have a significant influence on her own health, as well as that of her children. Investing in women’s health by providing the quality of the care and services provided, in addition to promoting healthy lifestyles, will result in significant health improvements for Qatar’s future generation,” said Dr. Najat Khenyab, National Health Strategy Lead for the “Healthy Women Leading to Healthy Pregnancies” priority within the NHs 2018-2022.
Additionally, Qatar suffers from low rates of exclusive breastfeeding for children up to 6 months old, as well as high obesity rates in children, approximately 18% for boys and 15% for girls under 20 years old.
A health sector plan was developed to improve the health of children and adolescents in Qatar. The plan focuses on improving nutrition and promoting healthy lifestyles, by targeting both children as well as care givers, including parents, teachers and care givers. It also focuses on improving pediatric services, through offering high quality integrated healthcare for children. Efforts will be specifically directed towards reducing obesity and dental caries in children, and maintaining a high rate of vaccination coverage.
The National Health Strategy Lead for “Healthy Children and Adolescents,” Dr. Sadriya Al Kohji said “In order to give our children, the best opportunity to lead a healthy and full life, it is important that the foundations of good health are part of their lifestyles from an early age. It is essential to involve families and to make sure they are equipped with the knowledge to make healthy changes.”
A dedicated taskforce, including key stakeholders from different organization from within and outside of the health sector, has been developed for both priority populations to oversee the implementation of the plans with the aim of achieving their targets by 2022.
About the National Health Strategy 2018-2022
The NHS 2018-2022 is one of eight different sector strategies, under the National Development Strategy 2018-2022, which aim to deliver the Qatar National Vision 2030 of "Improving the health of Qatar’s population, through an integrated healthcare system, managed according to world-class standards, designed to meet the needs of existing and future generations.”
The Strategy was launched under the theme ‘Our Health, Our Future,’ and reflects a global shift in thinking by taking a population health approach. It identifies seven priority population groups and five priority areas for system wide focus. 
The priority populations reflect an investment in both the current and future generations and in particular, our most vulnerable individuals, including children, mothers, older people and those with special needs.
The system-wide areas focus on the health system continuum, providing a genuinely integrated model of care that strives to maintain wellness, while making sure that people receive well-coordinated care, delivered in a professional and safe environment at the appropriate level.
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