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DoH participates in SIAL Middle East 2018
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10 December 2018
  • The exhibition will see DoH host workshops in cooperation with other entities
  • DoH will introduce innovative ways to provide prescriptions for the visually impaired

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates- 10 December 2018: Department of Health—Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is participating in the ninth edition of SIAL Middle East 2018, which was held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA). The event took place from 10-12 December at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC).
 

DoH’s participation through the duration of the exhibition will showcase its commitment to raising awareness for the importance of applying the highest standards in food quality through its ‘Weqaya’ programme. This unique programme contributes to reducing the risk factors associated with many non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CDV), hypertension, cancer among others.

Dr. Omniyat Al Hajeri, Director of Public Health at the Department of Health, commented: “In contributing to its vision of ‘a healthier Abu Dhabi’, DoH is taking part in SIAL Middle East, an important event that targets the food, beverage and hospitality sectors in the UAE. These are among the fastest growing industries in the Middle East.”

She continued: “Our participation in this year's event emphasises DoH’s ongoing efforts to highlight the 'Weqaya - Healthy Nutrition' programme, and the international standards for health food that we adopt.”

Statistics from DoH showed that 37% of all deaths in Abu Dhabi in 2016 were due to cardiovascular disease; a majority of these cases were linked to unhealthy lifestyle habits resulting from diabetes and obesity.

Dr. Al Hajeri added: “DoH encourages residents to adopt a healthy lifestyle by providing high quality food options. This will reduce deaths from diseases associated with unhealthy nutrition. Using our platform, we will implement the Weqaya program and provide healthy food options in the dining outlets at our health centers.”

During the exhibition, DoH will launch a booklet of health recipes written in braille as part its Year of Zayed initiatives, in cooperation with Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs. Representatives from healthcare food catering companies will also showcase their expertise on providing nutritional food options for patients, employees and visitors, in addition to reviewing the appropriate ways to display nutritional food items on sale, according to Weqaya standards.

Moreover, DoH will host a workshop, in cooperation with the Department of Economic Development, with the aim to show factories, producers and food traders the best way to add calories to food lists.

On the sidelines of the exhibition, DoH has also awarded nearly 35 food establishments, most of which were health centers that implemented the ‘Weqaya’ programme, following the announcement of mandatory application by health centers. Food suppliers of the aforementioned health centers were also recognised for joining the ‘Weqaya’ programme, in addition to a number of restaurants, and Etihad Airways, for their increased efforts in recent years. Etihad Airways has also announced that it will adhere to standards of the programme on their Business Class and First Class options, with plans to include Economy class in the future. The number of establishments adhering to the programme has reached 36 since its launch.

DoH launched the ‘Weqaya’ programme in 2013, in cooperation with ADFCA, to raise awareness among the public about nutritional options by adding a safety logo to the recommended food choices in restaurant menus. DoH also worked in line with Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council to place logos on food products available in supermarkets, which are usually low in both fat and salt, and rich in fiber.

 

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