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The Health Promotion Department, HPD, of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA) and its health-supporting associations recently revealed outstanding outcomes in terms of delivering their awareness-raising messages to community members, as part of the HPD’s commitment to the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah and the precautionary measures adopted by the UAE government to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

In this regard, the HPD said: "Since the implementation of the remote working system last March, we have published more than 187 educational publications and filming and broadcasting over 36 videos on the smart platforms of the department, in addition to publishing a series of educational articles in various media outlets and awareness-raising segment in radio by our health educators, as well as hosting doctors and specialists through “Instagram Live” feature to enhance the health awareness and answer the public inquiries.”

Distinctive Electronic infrastructure

Her Excellency Iman Rashid Saif, Director of the Health Promotion Department, “Our remote working system is mainly based on the efficiency of our electronic infrastructure and its diverse work methods while maintaining the efficiency and quality of the work itself. At HPD, we have intensified our efforts to fight against the spread of COVID-19 by taking several measures aligned with the programs and plans of the government to combat this global pandemic for the safety of citizens and residents.”

“Our campaigns, initiatives and projects are in line with the directives and vision of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi in terms of elevating the health awareness of Sharjah population,”

The Director of the Health Promotion Department added: “The HPD has invested in its smart system and has enhanced the role of social networking sites to expand the scope of its awareness campaigns and reach the largest possible segment of the public through various awareness-raising messages and programs for all age groups and in different languages.”

“Our initiatives primarily aim to consolidate the concept of the healthy lifestyles such as personal hygiene and to avoid fears from COVID-19, as well as not to listen to rumors and fake news which drastically increase these fears and affect the mental health. We also focus on the clear understanding of the disease and how to deal with it, in addition to the importance of obtaining information from the official sources of the state,” she concluded.

Towards a Healthy Life

Among the awareness channels that are recently launched by the HPD is the release of the first edition of its online magazine “Towards a Healthy Life”. It’s an awareness-raising magazine which is issued every two months is published on the HPD’s website and smart and electronic platforms for various government and private departments and institutions.

Divided into six parts, the magazine highlights the misconceptions about the new coronavirus (COVID-19) according to WHO reports, in addition to clarifying the facts pertaining to the ages of people who are vulnerable to get infected with the virus and the correct methods of prevention.

The other sections featured a number of nutritional and sports advice that enhances the body's immune system.

On the other hand, the Health Promotion Department has continued to follow up on the implementation of its main initiatives through coordination with various institutions and strategic partners on how to activate these initiatives in light of the current circumstances. This included monitoring the results of the “Wazen” program, the first health survey for Sharjah government employees and the “Healthy Schools” program, as well as the latest preparations for My Health 8th Regional Conference and the results of the community awareness study through communication with the concerned institutions.

Innovative Methods

Concerning the efforts exerted by the health-supporting associations to deliver their awareness message, the Friends of Kidney Patients Association has published health articles on social media to improve the health of individuals and educate the community about the dangers of kidney disease and the methods of prevention and treatment.

While the Friends of Diabetes Association has remotely completed its “Superhero” campaign by communicating with the participating schools and students and engaging them in educational activities through the e-learning system. The association also interviewed specialized doctors remotely and published these interviews on its social media accounts.

Additionally, the Diabetes Association announced that it will organize “My Health Campaign” in Ramadan under the slogan “Drink Water and Enjoy Life”, besides broadcasting electronic bulletins to raise awareness of diabetes and the methods that can strengthen the immune system in patients.

Exemption from Rental Fees

In line with the preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Friends of Breastfeeding Association issued a decision to stop the service of renting breastfeeding devices and supplies from customers from the period 15/3/2020 to 3/31/2020 to ensure the health and safety of the association's employees and customers.

Also, the association has exempted tenants from leasing fees and delay penalties during the mentioned period, in addition to selling breastfeeding supplies through courier services. The association has started to hold its meetings through the video conference, in addition to proceeding with the continuing education initiative for volunteers by shooting the training programs and sending them to the volunteers.

The Breastfeeding Association has also finalized its questionnaire to measure the effectiveness of maternal support lines in Arabic, English, and Urdu.

While the Friends of Arthritis Patients (FOAP) has begun shooting awareness videos by trainers and sports experts including physical exercises to entertain arthritis patients while they are at home. The videos will be broadcasted on FOAP’s Instagram account, in addition to posting awareness messages by specialized doctors featuring important tips about arthritis and ways to prevent it.

Source: Misbar /communications