The Ministry of Public Health and World Health Organization in collaboration with FIFA and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy held the first Walk the Talk Doha: Health for all Challenge on Saturday 19 November 2022.
Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health was joined at the event by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO; His Excellency Mr Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the SCDL; Ms Fatma Samour, Secretary General of FIFA;
and Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.
A host of elite athletes were also in attendance, including Mr. Mutaz Barshim, Qatar’s double Olympic Gold Medal high jump champion; Mr. Fares Ibrahim, Qatar’s Olympic Gold Medal weightlifting champion; and Mr. Didier Drogba, WHO Sport for Health Ambassador and former FIFA World Cup footballer.
Speaking at the event, Her Excellency Dr. Al Kuwari said: “Regular exercise and activity, including walking, not only support good physical health, but also our mental health and wellbeing. I am delighted to have partnered with WHO, FIFA and SCDL to bring the Walk the Talk initiative to Doha for the first time. I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to everyone who took part in Walk the Talk Doha and helped to make this a true celebration of health.”
More than 3.500 people took part in Walk the Talk Doha, which was organized as part of the Sport for Health partnership between MOPH, WHO, FIFA and SC. The event began at Al Bidda Park and offered participants the choice of two routes, 3 and 5 kilometers, taking in key Doha landmarks, including the Corniche area and the FIFA World Cup countdown clock.
“WHO is delighted to team up with the Ministry of Public Health and bring Walk The Talk to Doha to kickstart the FIFA World Cup in the healthiest of ways,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “The Walk the Talk series is about bringing people together, to promote the importance of health for all, and enjoy the benefits of sport and physical activity.”
Walk the Talk Doha was supported by a range of organizations, each helping to make the event a celebration of sport for health: Al Bidda Park and the Private Engineering Office; the UHC Partnership; 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum; Qatar Tennis Federation; Qatar Rugby Federation; Qatar Cancer Society; Qatar Olympic Committee; and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar’s Sahtak Awalan.
HE Dr. Al-Kuwari affirmed the readiness of the health sector to provide all health and treatment services to local and visiting fans during FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in various event sites, fan areas, matches and other sites related to the tournament. The National Healthcare Incident Command Center is in constant coordination with the various relevant authorities in the country, in anticipation of any potential emergency.