Qatar works with WHO to create legacy of sports for health
By Ifeoma Orji, Lagos, Nigeria
The Ministry of Public Health, MoPH and World Health Organization, WHO are driving efforts to make the global celebration of football a beacon for health and safety.
This comes as football lovers and watchers fix their eyes on 2022 World Cup in Qatar which will soon take the center stage.
The partnership, which began in October 2021, is supported by Fifa and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.
Minister of Public Health, Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari says “the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 is a unique platform to promote health across the world and to communicate that sports and health go together. Sports and health are intertwined, and together they play out in a celebration of joy, well-being, and solidarity for billions of people around the world.”
The partnership on Sports for Health has two main focus areas, collaboration to make the 2022 tournament, the first of its kind in the Middle East, an area of health and safety and to capture all that will be learned, to improve global public health and security.
The partners are committed to delivering campaigns to raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity on health, as well as promoting the importance of a healthy lifestyle through the adoption of healthy food choices during major sporting events.
Dr. Hanan said; ”At the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022, smoke-free stadiums and bans on tobacco marketing are among key protections offered to protect people from this deadly product. Benefits of these measures will help to promote and protect the health of sports followers at future mega sporting events.”
The Director General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus further explained that “by focusing on physical activity, healthy diets and nutrition, tobacco control, mental health, and health security, the partnership strives to provide guidance on how to help improve the physical and mental health of all the people globally through sports.”
Since the partnership kicked off, MoPH and WHO have worked to promote physical health and well-being around several key milestones. These include; promoting health and nutritional awareness during the Holy Month of Ramadan, engaging in the third edition of the “Walk the Talk: Health For All Challenge” in Geneva, and raising awareness of the harms caused by smoking on World No Tobacco Day.