Health Ministry receives UNIATF award

November 22, 2021 - 16:31

TEHRAN – The Ministry of Health has won the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of NCDs award (UNIATF 2021).

This year 19 organizations received the award in three categories of ministries of health (or government agency under a ministry of health); ministries (or government agencies) beyond health; and non-state actors (non-governmental organization, academic institutions, and philanthropy).

The Health Ministry was awarded for demonstrating excellence in delivering mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran for demonstrating excellence in delivering mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Winners are selected on the basis of demonstrative commitment to multisectoral action in preventing and controlling the NCD-related SDGs (at local, national, regional, or international level) with particular weight given to nominations that demonstrated evidence of one or more of the following: new and innovative activities; acting as an exemplar for others; overcoming significant obstacles; demonstrating outstanding leadership; and mobilizing resources, knowledge or expertise.

Earlier in February, Ahmad al-Manzari, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Eastern Mediterranean said that Iran’s measures to control non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is a role model for the Middle East (West Asia).

Al-Manzari stressed the need to transfer Iran’s knowledge and experience to other countries in the region, especially experiences related to the COVID-19 pandemic and non-communicable diseases by setting up regional and global networks.

300,000 Iranians die of NCDs annually

In February 2019, the health ministry announced that some 300,000 Iranians die of NCDs annually in Iran, which means that one-fourth of the country’s population (standing at 80 million) are overweight or obese which also results in developing NCDs.

Diabetes, a non-communicable disease, is a serious threat to people’s health and is the fifth leading cause of death in the country. Diabetes prevalence is 10 percent in Iran and is high among people aging 50 or more.

Cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which were the leading cause of death in 2012, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints), and some cancers (including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon) are common health consequences of overweight and obesity, WHO warns.

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