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MoH survey to cover private school students

FOR the first time, the Ministry of Health (MoH) will include students from private schools for the annual school health survey that aims at helping make policy changes to improve children's health conditions.

The health survey, which will have its samples from students of grades one, five and nine, will begin after Ramadan, Director of Central School Health Department in MoH Dr Mariam Al Matroushi told The Gulf Today on Sunday.

"We have been conducting the annual health survey among school children for many years. But, so far we have included only students from government schools. This time, we are going to strengthen the study by including students from the private sector also. MoH is going to make an agreement with the Ministry of Education in this regard," she said.

Part of the school health programme of the MoH, the survey will analyse the physical and mental health of students and the services offered to them for improving their general health conditions.

The growing levels of obesity among school children will be a major focus of the study, which will also analyse the oral and mental health of students. The survey will examine the health services, psychological care and social services offered for students.

Matroushi said a comparative analysis of the surveys is done every four years and the observations arising out of the comparative study are considered while making changes in the school health programme.

A World Health Organisation initiative, the school health programme includes health awareness campaigns that educate students and parents about the importance of a healthy diet, balanced nutrition and regular physical activities.

The staff of school health department offer clinical services, vaccination and preventive medicine to students.

Source: Gulf Today
Posted: 02/09/2008

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