Riyadh – World Health Organization (WHO) recognized Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Medina to be among the world’s healthiest cities.
Medina received the accreditation after a WHO team visited and confirmed that it meets all the global standards required to be a healthy city.
According to WHO’s statement, “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.”
A committee was formed under the supervision of Taibah university’s president Dr. Abdul Aziz Assarani to formulate a strategic partnership between Holy city’s integrated program and the University, in order to record government requirements on an electronic platform for WHO review.
A total of 22 government, community, charity and volunteering agencies contributed for the WHO accreditation.
Having impressed by the university’s role, WHO recommended that the university should impart training to other agencies across the Kingdom to take part in the healthy cities program.
Medina is believed to be the first city with a population of more than 2 Million residents to be recognized under the WHO’s Healthy Cities program.
Healthy Cities program was launched in 1986 in the developed countries namely Canada, USA, Australia, many European nations. However, by 1994, developing countries used the resources and implementation strategies of initial successes to begin their own programmes. Currently, thousands of cities worldwide are part of the Healthy Cities network and exist in all WHO regions in more than 1,000 cities worldwide.