Categorized | Featured, National News

Minister Promises School Health Surveys

fitzgerald (1)

The Ministry of Education will soon conduct two nationwide surveys on thousands of school aged kids to obtain an accurate picture of the state of children’s health and to gauge the prevalence of tobacco use among youngsters in the country.

On Friday, Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald announced that his ministry had teamed up with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to carry out a Global School Health Survey (GSHS) and a Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS).

The surveys will be administered simultaneously.

Minister Fitzgerald said it is imperative to obtain an accurate picture of the state of children’s health so that the data can be used to make informed policy decisions and to implement strategies that will positively impact their development.

“It is important that we focus on our students’ health because it can be a critical factor in success in education,” he said. “Health issues can be a major deterrent to learning; therefore we must take steps to ensure that our children’s education is not disadvantaged due to preventable illnesses and conditions.”

“Each survey has specific objectives to achieve. We all can admit that the health of our student population is a good indicator of the health of our nation, since students usually adopt their lifestyle habits and trends from their parents.”

The Global Youth Tobacco Survey is a global standard to systematically monitor the use of tobacco among the youth population of a country.

It is a nationally representative school-based study of students between the ages of 13 and 15 using a consistent and standard protocol across countries.

Meantime, the Global Health School Survey is designed to develop a current database on health matters which are of utmost importance to the Ministry of Education like non-communicable diseases, sexually communicable disease and obesity.

“These surveys will be conducted at 25 selected private and public schools in New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands,” Mr. Fitzgerald added. “Parental consent has been obtained for students to participate in the survey.”

“We will use the information gathered to develop a health education campaign to sensitise the general public, and in particular students, on healthy eating habits and raise awareness on issues that can foster healthy children.”

The education minister said he is very confident that information gathered will guide all of the relevant parties at this table in making decisions for the health of the children in The Bahamas.

He said the information will be shared with parents to assist them in rearing healthy children who eventually become healthy adults.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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