The World Health Organisation has recognised the holy city of Medina in Saudi Arabia as a healthy city after it met all the global standards required by the organisation to be a healthy city, local media reported by The Gulf News.
Medina has become the first large city with a population exceeding two million people to be recognised as such by WHO.
According to WHO, “a healthy city is one that is continually creating and improving those physical and social environments and expanding those community resources.
All which enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and developing to their maximum potential.”
The healthy cities programme in the city featured a strategic partnership with Taibah University to record all government requirements and procedures in line with global regulations, evidence and procedures, and record them on an electronic platform for the organisation’s review.
It has established specialised charitable societies and supported them with quality projects in partnership with government agencies.
Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Sarani, Taibah University rector and committee chairman in the region, said that the programme was a preventive scheme aimed at improving the environmental, social and economic aspects affecting health.
The coordinator of the WHO healthy cities programme in Medina, Ahmed bin Obaid Hammad, said
“The organisation’s recommendation for Medina to be a local and international training centre is the biggest achievement of the city’s programme and “we are all proud of it”.
Healthy Cities program was launched in 1986 in the developed countries namely Canada, USA, Australia, many European nations.
However, by 1994, developing countries used the resources and implementation strategies of initial successes to begin their own programmes. Currently, thousands of cities worldwide are part of the Healthy Cities network and exist in all WHO regions in more than 1,000 cities worldwide.