Wellness Day brings community together to promote good health
October, 2014

Dena Al-Dabhani of pre-med 2 was one of the lucky winners of a new bicycle.

Health advice, free gifts and top prizes were on offer at WCMC-Q’s at the third installment of the college’s annual Wellness Day event.

Stalls were set up by a variety of organizations, including student clubs, WCMC-Q divisions and external bodies such as the Supreme Council of Health, Qatar Red Crescent, Qatar Cancer Society and Qatar Foundation’s Nutrition Services team, to explain their role in promoting community health and offer information and services.

WCMC-Q’s Global and Public Health Division’s stall promoted road safety with computerized driving simulations, a road safety awareness quiz and by encouraging attendees to sign a pledge to become an advocate for road safety by respecting the rules of the road and creating a safe road environment for all road users. Dr. Sohaila Cheema, director of Global and Public Health, said: “Car accidents kill and injure a huge number of people worldwide each year, and majority of these deaths and injuries are preventable. By taking a few simple precautions we can all can make a difference by saving precious human lives on the roads everyday.

“Seatbelts should be worn at all times, do not speed at anytime, adhere to road safety signs, children should be appropriately restrained in child-seats or with seatbelts, all motorcyclists and cyclists should wear helmets and you should not use your mobile phone while driving. Is the call really that important that you cannot wait until you have stopped to take it or is sending a text message worth it if can lead to disability or even death? Similarly, you should be careful not to be drawn into a ‘road rage’ incident. If someone cuts across your vehicle, don’t retaliate – you are responsible for the safety of your passengers and other road users and you should not let someone else’s bad driving distract you from that.”

Purchasing supervisor Hussein Jaber tries his hand at virtual bowling on a Wii console

Meanwhile, WCMC-Q’s ITS division used iPads to promote healthy living apps, and Tom Doyle and Henriette Oosthuysen of the Environmental Health and Safety division demonstrated the proper use of fire extinguishers. A Wii computer console was set up and students, faculty, staff and visitors challenged each other to energetic games of virtual tennis and bowling.

Second-year pre-medical student Tala Altaji was supervising the WCMC-Q student Pediatrics Group stall along with fellow students with an interest in specializing in pediatric care.

She said: “Today we are raising awareness of the ways in which technology is affecting children and reducing the amount of physical activity they take part in, which can lead to them becoming overweight or obese and put them at risk of developing type-2 diabetes and other conditions.

“We are distributing leaflets and questionnaires to parents to explain these risks and provide advice on how to encourage their children to be more active.”

Tom Doyle explains the best way to extinguish a fire

The event culminated with prize draws for students and staff. Students Sulaiman Alshakhs of pre-med 1, Dena Al-Dabhani of pre-med 2 and fourth-year medical student Dana Anchassi each won a bicycle. Staff winners Jovita Pereira of the Global and Public Health Division, Saleem Qamar of ITS and Sandra Pais of Finance won electronic fitness-tracking wristbands, while Raji Anand of Global and Public Health and catering supervisor Rodney Fernandez won electric massagers.

Luma Rayyan, WCMC-Q’s student health, wellness and activity coordinator, coordinated the event.

She said: “Wellness Day is all about equipping people with the knowledge and resources they need to make positive changes to their lifestyles. If someone wants to improve his or her health, they should not feel it is something they have to do alone because there is a whole community of people and organizations who are only too happy to help.

“It has been great to see the community show so much enthusiasm and energy for Wellness Day once again.”