GIS - 12 February, 2020: A health programme targeting students of the Grade 7, 9 and 12 at all secondary schools is being conducted across the island with the objective to facilitate early detection of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and their risks factors as well as to promote health as an integral component within the school community.
The programme for the Health Region 4 at France Boyer De La Giroday SSS at Plaine Magnien, was launched, today, in presence of the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, and the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal, and other Ministers.
In her keynote address, Vice-Prime Minister Dookun-Luchoomun, highlighted that a sound health education has a significant impact in boosting the country’s economy as it helps reduce healthcare expenditure and lost productivity. It is important, she said, to empower students with knowledge about NCDs and healthy lifestyles and develop resilience of the latter to preventable diseases.
A health and wellness directorate, she stated, has been tasked with the goal of strengthening health promotion and prevention strategies within the school environment. She also lauded the close collaboration between two Ministries which is geared towards ensuring a secure and healthier environment for the students.
In addition, the Vice-Prime Minister recalled several health programmes which are being implemented in secondary schools to ensure that students evolve in a sound environment. They are: Vaccination programme for Cervical Cancer; “Get Connected” drug use prevention programme in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; promotion of school health clubs in secondary schools; Social and Emotional well-being programme for Grades 7-9; After School Fitness Programme, amongst others.
For his part, Minister Jagutpal underlined that the health programme focuses on providing prevention measures and timely treatment to students adding that schools are key places for healthy development of young people. The school environment, he said, is an ideal setting to acquire knowledge and skills about healthy choices and encourage more physical activities among the youth to mitigate risks of NCDs.
He spoke of the introduction of health in school curriculum for primary students, regular health education sessions in both primary and secondary schools and the ban of soft drinks and control of food items sold in canteens.
The Minister also dwelt on other initiatives by the Ministry of Health and Wellness namely the setting up of Mobile Clinic Services for health intervention activities, National Comprehensive School Health Programme, and National Digital Retinal Screening Service, amongst others.
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