JEDDAH: The Saudi city of Madinah has been acknowledged by the World Health Organization (WHO) as among the world’s healthiest cities.
The holy city gained the accreditation after a visiting WHO team said that it met all the global standards required to be a healthy city.
Madinah is believed to be the first city with a population of more than 2 million to be recognized under the organization’s healthy cities program.
A total of 22 government, community, charity and volunteer agencies helped prepare for the WHO accreditation.
The city’s integrated program included a strategic partnership with Taibah University to record government requirements on an electronic platform for the organization’s review.
The WHO also recommended that the university provide training to other national city agencies interested in taking part in the healthy cities program.
A committee chaired by the university’s president, Dr. Abdul Aziz Assarani, supervised 100 members representing the 22 government, civil, charity and volunteer agencies.
Criteria included meeting goals set by the Madinah Region Strategy Project and the launch of a “Humanizing Cities” program.
According to WHO, “a healthy city is one that is continually creating and improving those physical and social environments and expanding those community resources which enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and developing to their maximum potential.”