Series 2 of ‘Movement is a Blessing’: 5 videos

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Between October 2020 and March 2021, Professor Shereen Hussein secured QR GCRF funding to continue the success of MENARAH’s Movement is a Blessing series aimed at improving the level of physical activities of older people in the MENA region especially during COVID19 and associated lockdowns and restricted mobility.

Informal carers in Egypt are one of the main groups of large access and use of mobile phones in Egypt, and the use of apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook are widespread. For example, mobile shipments to Egypt were 14.9 million units in 2019 alone, with 72% being smartphones.  

The activity aims to capitalise on the use of smart phones and apps to provide timely and unique platform for information, advice and service dedicated to ensuring the health and wellbeing of older people. Following the success of the first physical exercise videos ‘Movement is a Blessing’, this activity involved the further development and production of five videos focusing a physical training specific to older people at home during quarantine and beyond. We have also conducted in-country interviews of older people, informal and formal carers to understand the impact of COVID19 on the physical and social activities of older people and the potential benefits of the physical exercise videos. We are currently writing up a summary of findings in a blog with general advice on being active at old age, hygiene and healthy eating to be published on the MENARAH website.  

As part of this work, in collaboration with Sport Makers, MENARA Produced five short videos aimed at strength and stretching exercises specific to older people. These were designed following research and medical professionals’ input to ensure the suitability of all exercises presented. In each video, a COVID19 infection control messages were included.

Egypt, similar to many other LMIC, suffers from a poor infrastructure and support for older people. The COVID19 pandemic presents an unprecedented situation where older people and those with long term care needs are forced to self-isolate in homes. Utilising social media becomes necessary within such situation to maintain the physical and mental wellbeing of older people.

The immediate benefits are:

1-         Raise awareness of the importance of ensuring older people’s wellbeing during these challenging times

2-         Provide practical information and support to enhance the physical activities of older people and their informal carers at home (a topic that is usually neglected with some attached stigma) 

3-         Raise awareness of the potential of technology in care and providing practical examples

Long-term benefits:

1-         Enhancing the lives and wellbeing of both older people and their family carers

2-         Making use of social media in a dedicated way to the wellbeing of older people

All videos are in Arabic with English subtitles.

Watch Movement is a Blessing series 2: video 1

Watch Movement is a Blessing series 2: video 2

Watch Movement is a Blessing series 2: video 3

Watch Movement is a Blessing series 2: video 4

Watch Movement is a Blessing series 2: video 5

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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Professor Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.