8 April 2013
It was an evening of drama, entertainment and healthy food at the Hussein Culture Centre in Amman, as the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and others commemorated World Health Day with the launching of the Agency’s diabetes and high blood pressure campaign, “Life is Sweeter with Less Sugar.”
After hearing speeches from experts in the health field, the audience of 200 Palestine refugees, Jordanians, UNRWA officials and other special guests were treated to a play by popular comedians Zaal and Khadra, entitled “Your Health is Everything.” The play told the story of an uncle who is struggling to lose weight after meeting the girl of his dreams. He begins exercising and changes his eating habits with the help of his niece and nephew resulting in a lifestyle change that transforms his life.
For one attendee, the play proved especially impactful. “The play was an inspiration for my two kids,” said Hassan, a Palestine refugee and resident of Talbieh camp. “I liked what I saw, and because their approach was to educate, they did well by using entertainment,” he added. “My two kids where paying attention throughout.”
Speaking at the event, UNRWA Deputy Commissioner-General Margot Ellis said: “We believe that the creativity, humour and celebration will put knowledge into practice and result in positive change and healthier communities,” Ellis added.
Other speakers included Jordan’s internationally recognised pioneering physician in the field of endocrinology Dr Kamel Ajluni.
Since 1992, UNRWA has included treatment for diabetes and high blood pressure in its primary health care service for Palestine refugees. By 2011, the Agency was treating over 200,000 patients with diabetes and/or high blood pressure per year, and spending 41 per cent of its medication budget on drugs to treat the two conditions.
more about UNRWA’s “Life is Sweeter with Less Sugar” campaign.