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Health, Education min., Cairo gov. witness ‘Healthy Cities’ celebration
22 April 2024

Minister of Health Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Education Dr. Reda Hegazi, Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel Aal, and WHO representative in Egypt Dr. Naeema Said witnessed Monday the celebration marking the launching the first phase of the WHO initiative “Partnership for Healthy Cities” held at Omar ibn El-Khattab School in cooperation with Bloomberg Foundation, Ministries of Health and Education, and Cairo governorate.

During the celebration, Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel Aal said Cairo has witnessed numerous achievements over the past 10 years since President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi took office, which aims to improve citizens’ living standards and provide a decent life through various initiatives that contribute to enhancing healthcare, education, and living standards.

Abdel Aal added the “Healthy Cities” Initiative aims to raise health awareness among children, implant new ideas to improve the nutritional environment and children's health, reduce chronic diseases in the long term, and train teachers to be able to correct children's misconceptions and habits by applying health initiatives such as participating in Healthy Cities Initiatives.  He also added that there is a collaboration with the food bank to supply schools with fresh fruits and vegetables daily, provide educational materials, such as educational posters, vegetable and fruit coloring stories, and games like Snakes and Ladders, organize Healthy Food Day, and raise awareness among all students to bring healthy food and avoid unhealthy foods.

Moreover, Abdel Aal praised the World Health Organization in Egypt for supporting the initiative, expressing hope for continued fruitful cooperation between WHO and Cairo Governorate. He also thanked the Ministries of Health and Education for their exceptional efforts to implement the initiative to improve the health of elementary school students in Cairo.

The celebration was attended by Deputy Cairo Governor Dr. Ibrahim Saber, CEO of the Egyptian Bank Food Dr. Mohsen Sarhan, Director of Health Directorate Mohammad Shawky, Head of the Primary Health Care, School Age, and Adolescent Health Sector, Ministry of Health.   

The initiative consists of a global network supported by the Bloomberg Foundation and includes 70 cities, including Cairo. It aims to save lives by preventing non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity by addressing and combating the risk factors leading to them through selecting and implementing a set of activities aimed at applying international nutrition standards for the food provided and sold in public institutions, especially in government primary schools, by offering healthy and delicious alternatives to students in schools’ cafeterias at affordable prices while improving its efficiency and providing the necessary tools to prepare those alternatives.

The initiative targets 16 schools in Cairo by raising awareness of students on healthy alternatives to harmful foods via several games and activities.

The program includes improving the infrastructure of schools’ cafeterias to serve healthy meals and displaying posters showing healthy foods and alternatives to harmful food to students at all times.

 Furthermore, educating students about the benefits of healthy eating through a variety of games and competitions to improve their dietary habits for the better.

Source: Media Department, Cairo Governorate