Obesity, anaemia affect student health: Survey

ABU DHABI — Health tests conducted on 25,778 students across Abu Dhabi emirate show that 28.7 per cent are anaemic (deficient in iron), while 16.4 per cent are obese.

By Olivia Olarte

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Published: Wed 27 Jul 2011, 12:16 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:02 AM

Results of the medical examinations, announced on Monday by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), also show that 14.7 per cent of students have abnormal vision and 13 per cent are overweight. This is in addition to 12.5 per cent being underweight, while 6.6 per cent have abnormal hearing and 1.1 per cent have scoliosis (curvature of the spine).

Around 16,505, or 64 per cent of students, also suffer from dental decay, according to the results. The medical assessments, held in association with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), will determine the current health status of the younger population and identify factors that impair their learning. The comprehensive screening included hearing, dental, vertebrae curvature check-up (for scoliosis), blood haemoglobin, urine and clinical examinations, in addition to the mandatory body mass index (BMI) and vision test. The first phase of the programme covered male and female students of Grades 1, 5 and 9 from government schools across the emirate. Of the 25,778 students, 56.8 per cent were from Abu Dhabi, 37.4 per cent were from the Eastern Region and 5.7 per cent from the Western Region.

Based on the results, students and their parents were referred to SEHA hospitals for follow-up. A comprehensive preventive examination database was created for all 25,778 students to enable doctors at SEHA hospitals and centres to check on their medical status and progress. School nurses were also tasked to follow up on the students to ensure they go to healthcare centres and were taking their medications.

The second phase of the programme will be launched next year to include other students.


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