School children to benefit from health screening

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony

Later this month, the Health and Education Ministries will be collaborating to launch a school health programme that includes health screening for students across the nursery, primary and secondary levels.
This was revealed by Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony on Friday during the launch of the National Expansion of the HEARTS Initiative for the Management of Cardiovascular Diseases at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown.
This health screening programme, officially announced last year, intends to provide early detection of any health-related issues children may develop.
As such, students will first be screened at the nursery level, then at the primary and secondary levels, for health complications related to vision, hearing, dental, and other health concerns.
“Over time, we’d have the data to compare and also to intervene,” Dr Anthony noted.
“We’re starting the programme this month and we’ve targeted 27,000 nursery school students to be completed before the year comes to an end,” he said.
Seeking to foster an understanding among young people about the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle and nutritious diet, this programme also aims to tackle diverse challenges present in the classroom while mitigating potential learning setbacks.

Health promotion
Meanwhile, the Coordinator of the Chronic Disease Unit, Dr Daniele Drepaul, stated that health programmes to promote topics related to maintaining a healthy lifestyle have already been completed in Regions Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).
“We’re doing health promotion on different topics. We have a nutritionist who speaks about obesity and how to prepare a healthy diet, our tobacco officer speaks about legislation and the dangers of tobacco smoking. Also, we’ve been doing some talks on road safety, and our diabetic officer has also been giving some information to the children,” Dr Drepaul said.
She noted that the information has thus far been well received by the students, and the Health Ministry department plans to visit 55 schools throughout the country this year.
“Eventually, we’ll cover all the schools but it will take time,” she added.