How to have a healthy life

With the aim of promoting healthy habits and lifestyles, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection carries out actions to encourage physical activity, healthy eating and control of tobacco consumption, thus seeking to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce the risk factors of obesity and non-transmissible diseases.

Open Doors School: pedagogical strategy that seeks to promote healthy lifestyles in schooled and non-schooled environments and contribute to the strengthening of the identity of distant, dispersed educational communities located in areas of violence and invites children, girls, young people, teachers, parents and others in the community to explore, share, debate and continue building the knowledge of those who inhabit their territory. The International Organization for Migration has developed the pedagogical strategy in the departments of Caquetá, Cauca, Nariño and Córdoba, and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection has supported the development of the initiative in the department of Putumayo.

Promotional strategy for healthy lifestyles

This strategy, which was developed in coordination with the Ministry of National Education, was deployed as a pilot experiment in Antioquia, Risaralda, Tolima and Neiva, with the participation of 230 educational establishments and 315 teachers. This methodology consists of applying the Pedagogical Guidance Module for the Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles, which is linked to the Institutional Educational Project, and school improvement programmes. Educational institutions are trained to develop transversal pedagogical projects in Healthy Lifestyles.

To strengthen the Food and Nutritional Security Policy, the country provided direct technical assistance to Vaupés, Guainía, Guaviare, Putumayo, Amazonas, Vichada, Caquetá, Huila, Cundinamarca, Atlántico, Magdalena, Bolívar, César, Sucre and Córdoba during the 2009-2012 period.

In 2010, the Ministry also developed a guide and computer application to support the management of territorial food and nutrition security plans, which was implemented through training in 32 departments of the country in order to generate awareness among political, institutional, economic, social and cultural actors of food and nutrition security, commitment to active participation and conceptual, technical, practical and computer skills to lead processes of formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of territorial food and nutrition security plans.

Pilot project “Once for health”

The FIFA (International Federation of Associated Football), Medical Assessment and Research Center (F-MARC), Ministry of Health and Protection, Ministry of Education and Colombian Football Federation project establishes that vigorous physical activity (such as playing football) has been shown to be capable of preventing or reducing risk factors for various diseases, especially chronic non-communicable diseases.

Based on this, FIFA and F-MARC decided to combine the direct health effects of playing football with the possibility of taking advantage of the motivation generated in the youth around this sport to promote education for change and the acquisition of healthy habits. The intervention consists of a series of football-based sessions aimed at stimulating physical activity and educating on healthy behaviours related to some of the world’s health problems. The “eleven for health” consists of 11 simple messages consisting of the appropriation and practice of the 11 best measures based on the best scientific evidence to protect health and which can help to reduce the levels of communicable and non-communicable health problems.

The eleven health messages are:

1. Play football, (physical activity message).
2. Respect girls and women
3. Protect Yourself from AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
4. Avoid drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
5. Control your weight
6. Wash your hands
7. Baby drinking water,
8. Follow a balanced diet,
9. Get vaccinated,
10. Take the prescribed medication and
11. Play fair.