Dr. Salah Abdullah Al Yafei, Acting Director of Health Promotion and Noncommunicable Diseases, said in the opening speech of the event: “health and academic institutions in the State of Qatar have a key role to play in the implementation of these guidelines to ensure better maternal and child health for a healthy lifestyle in the State of Qatar. To improve the nutritional and health status of women and mothers during pregnancy and lactation in addition to improving the nutrition and health of infants and children from 0 to 5 years old.
The nutrition guidelines for mother and child come in line with the dietary guidelines of the State of Qatar, which were launched in 2015 with the aim of increasing community awareness on healthy nutrition, introducing them to the six food groups, in addition to highlighting the importance of maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the intake of foods that high in sugar, salt and fat, practicing physical activity and drinking water in adequate quantities and ensuring that food is prepared under safe and clean conditions, preserving the environment and taking care of the family.
These guidelines are included under the National Action Plan for Nutrition and Physical Activity, which aims at reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases related to malnutrition and lack of physical activity and to improve the nutrition of the mother and child.
The chapters of the Nutrition Guidelines for Mother and Child (0-5 years) of the State of Qatar, which are divided into seven chapters that point out healthy nutrition and healthy lifestyles during all stages of pregnancy from pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy and after pregnancy to the development of the child to the age of five years, were reviewed. These guidelines provide comprehensive tips on woman's diet before, during and after pregnancy, ways to prevent gestational diabetes, the importance of physical activity and breastfeeding, how to introduce complementary nutrition into the infant's diet, ways to deal with potential allergies of infants, as well as oral and dental health and the importance of sleep.
Within the framework of the event, the Ministry of Public Health organized groups in the presence Dr. Lara Nasr El-Din, Consultant at the World Health Organizationto take feedback and observations of groups of women that will benefit from the guidelines, including women and mothers before, during and after pregnancy, lactating women, mothers with infants and children up to five years old. These observations have been taken into account and included in the guidelines in order to ensure community engagement in the preparation of such national guidelines.