Health help desk opens at King Khalid International Airport

Health help desk opens at King Khalid International Airport
Updated 24 July 2012

Health help desk opens at King Khalid International Airport

Health help desk opens at King Khalid International Airport

The Ministry of Health launched an intensive health education campaign against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at the King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) in Riyadh on Saturday. The ministry's department of public relations, media and health education organized the three-week program.
Non-communicable diseases are not contagious or cannot be spread from one person to another, and are generally caused by heredity, deficiencies in nutrition or environmental factors.
During the program, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has set up a desk in the departure terminal of the KKIA to inform outgoing passengers on ways of preventing NCDs and answer any questions they may have. The health officials at the airport desks will also distribute leaflets to inform the passengers of the dangers of NCDs and offer ways to prevent them.
According to a spokesman from the MOH, health officials have special counters located at both domestic and international airports for distributing brochures featuring health education that will be useful for travelers on their domestic and international tours.
Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases, collectively called NCDs, are responsible for the deaths of around 36 million people every year.
It is estimated that poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking are major factors behind the deaths of a staggering 100,000 people every day. And it’s not just rich nations that feel the damaging effects of sloth, excess and poor diet, far from it. Low and middle-income countries in the developing world are facing NCD deaths of epidemic proportions. Out of the 100,000 deaths daily, four out of five occur in the world’s poorest countries. NCD deaths are projected to increase by 15 percent globally by 2020.
The sharp rise of NCDs in emerging market economies such as Russia, India and China are particularly worrying. Experts say that between 2005 and 2015 these countries could lose $200 billion to $550 billion in national income due to the effects of NCDs on their populations.
Earlier this month the MOH launched an extensive summer awareness campaign through electronic channels to educate people who are leaving their homes for local and international destinations this summer.
The program, which was themed as: “Enjoy your holidays and come back safely to the Kingdom” was designed to capture a larger audience of viewers through popular cartoon characters.
The awareness program highlighted health problems faced by people who move out of their homes for the summer holidays. The program encourages viewers to take special care with the safety of their food, while playing in parks and swimming pools, and in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
Caution was also given on the prevention of road accidents, prevention of drug abuse, and the safe use of electronic devices among children. Parents were urged to have direct supervision over their children while they are using electronic toys and devices.
In addition there were helpful tips on adhering to a balanced diet and getting plenty of physical exercise.
During the summer program, the ministry organizes a series of call-in programs to help the public get answers and solutions to their medical problems. Senior medical consultants of various specialties are present to answer callers on a toll free number 8002494444, provided by the ministry.