x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Abu Dhabi health fair aims to educate the young

At the two-day Health and Fitness Fun Day, organisers aim to educate young people about a healthy lifestyle, that includes an active routine, a balanced diet and health checks.

Five-year-old Khalid Abdulrahim waits patiently for his free ice cream during the Health & Fitness Fun Day at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center in Abu Dhabi. The two-day event offers free health screenings and counseling, fitness activities as well as different snacks. Silvia Razgova / The National
Five-year-old Khalid Abdulrahim waits patiently for his free ice cream during the Health & Fitness Fun Day at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center in Abu Dhabi. The two-day event offers free health screenings and counseling, fitness activities as well as different snacks. Silvia Razgova / The National

ABU DHABI // Giving residents access to health care, no matter where they live, is the goal of the Ambulatory Health Services, a one-stop mobile healthcare system created by Seha.

At the two-day Health and Fitness Fun Day at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, organisers aimed to educate younger people about a healthy lifestyle, one that comprises an active routine, a balanced diet and health check-ups.

"Some people, especially those who live in the remote areas, struggle to find nearest clinic," said Dr Basma Bahlawan a dentist who works on one of the articulated lorries that act as a mobile clinic. "This ambulatory clinic is designed to mobilise from one place to another to better serve and protect people's health across the UAE."

The Ambulatory Health Service is always present during big events such as Formula One or National Day to ensure people's safety and give immediate treatment in case of accidents.

To encourage youngsters to participate in outdoor activities, Al Shaheen, an outdoor training and consultancy provider, showcased its activities at the event.

Abudullah Darwish Al Mezyan, the event co-ordinator said that young people need activities outside of studies, such as mountain climbing, swimming and cycling, so that "we have a healthy young generation who are prepared for future challenges, improved braveness and skills thus leading a healthy lifestyle".

Al Shaheen offers different levels of outdoor training programmes for boys and girls aged eight to 20.

"These sort of activities improve communication skills, promote group work and reinforce braveness," Mr Al Mezyan said.

Zayed University students decided to take a stand for health at the fair, displaying soft drinks and the excessive amounts of sugar they contain. Environmental and nutrition students found offering information to be a good way to inform others.

"We preferred displaying the result of our study about soft drinks instead of teaching the public their negative consequences," said Fatima Al Hemairy, an environmental student. "This is the most effective way to alert people".

The students also prepared a plastic refrigerator at the front of their booth to demonstrate ways to better promote food safety.

"The way you put your food in the fridge does affect your health," said Sheikha Al Ali, an environmental student. "Do not keep eggs at the edge of the fridge. The opening and closure of the fridge constantly can damage the eggs.

"They need cold temperature all the time, so keep them in the middle of the fridge."

She also highlighted the importance of keeping hot food on the top shelves and cold foods at the bottom so the hot food does not contaminate the other.

Traditional games were also part of the event, reviving forgotten activities that played a great role in keeping the older generation healthy and fit.

"Why didn't our predecessors suffer from diseases that this generation goes through?" said Ibtisam Ahmed. "Because those people used to be involved in traditional games which were full of body movement."

Ms Ahmed, a science teacher, spoke about encouraging youngsters to participate as a means of reviving the games and also reducing the amount of time children spend on video games.

aalhameli@thenational.ae