Health program for improving health of students

Every school nurse follows the cases of students during the official hours to discover the sick students and investigate any infectious disease. The disease is diagnosed then treated while the patient is isolated until the end of the infection period. A student will be provided (a sick leave certificate stating that he/she must not enter the school during his sick period).

By (WAM)

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Published: Fri 30 Mar 2012, 2:23 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:55 AM

The number of discovered infectious diseases during the year 2010-2011 until June reached 954 infectious disease mainly chicken pox. The number of reported infectious diseases by the school health department reached 87.8%.

Infectious diseases cases reported by school health department were :

1 Chicken pox 838 cases at 87.84%

2 Pin worm 20 cases at 2.10%

3 Worms 15 cases at 1.57%

4 Scabies 8 cases at 0.84%

5 Trachoma 7 cases at 0.73%

7 Mumps 6 cases at 0.63%

8 Scarlet fever 4 cases at 0.42%

9 Measles 3 cases at 0.31%

10 Polio 1 case at 0.10%

11 Amoebic dysentery 2 cases at 0.21%

12 Hepatitis A 2 cases 0.21%

13 Hepatitis B 1 case at 0.10%

14 Food poisoning 1 case at 0.10%

15 Other genital diseases 1 case at 0.10%

16 Others 39 cases at 4.09%

Total Number of Communicable Diseases 954 cases at 100%

In the field of preventive medicine services for non-infectious diseases, about 6532 preliminary tests were done for kindergarten students. Additionally, full checkup tests for 14,436 boys and 15,438 tests were done for grades 1, 5 and 9 students in Dubai and northern emirates. The total number of checked students reached 29,874 students (98.95%) coverage of 30,190 students. The numbers of positive cases was 11,852 students of 39,67%.

The numbers of checked students in kindergarten stages reached 6532 students (70% coverage). The numbers of positive cases reached 1154 with a percentage of 17,67% of the total numbers of students.

Based on the statistics of the school health department, the numbers of registered grade 1 students in public schools of Dubai is 9539 whereas the numbers of checked students reached 9450 (99.1% coverage). The number of positive cases is 3,660 cases (38.7%0 of the total number of checked students.

The numbers of registered grade 5 students in public schools in Dubai and the northern emirates reached 9,992 students while 9,849 students were totally checked with a percentage of 98.6%. The number of positive checked cases was 3,452 cases with a total percentage of 35%.

The number of registered grade 9 students in the public schools of Dubai and the northern emirates is 10,659 while 15,575 students were fully checked (99,2% coverage). The numbers of positive cases is 4,740 with a percentage of 44.8% of the total numbers of students.

The above mentioned positive cases include obesity (2934 cases i.e. 9.8%), optical refraction disorders (2033 i.e 6.8%), asthma (1402 i.e 4.7%), malnutrition (1295 i.e 4.3%), anemia (1267 i.e 4.2%), involuntary urination, dermatology diseases, thalassemia, G6PD, squint and others.

In the field of physical fitness tests for nursing school students and universities, about 1343 high school students who wish to enter universities or institutes inside or outside the UAE were provided the tests from September 2010 till 2011. There is a decreasing number in the numbers of tested people as these tests are mostly done in the health centers. All positive cases were transferred to the concerned hospitals and central clinics.

Dental Services

The national program for dental health includes tests for targeted students in grades 1,2,6 and 7. The dental services also provided preventive dental filling as well as health education campaigns on the ways of cleaning and protecting teeth, the correct ways of using tooth brushes and tooth paste and treatment of gum diseases. The numbers of visitors to the dental clinics reached 28,033 students whereas the number of treated students was 40,744 in the school health dental clinics. About 3336 prescriptions were given till June 2011.

Treatment in Central Clinics

The school health program includes private specialized pediatrics, internal medicine, dermatology, ophthalmology, psychiatric clinics). Students are transferred when needed while laboratories are available in the school health program’s central clinic. Lab tests include urine and blood analysis for grade one students.

The numbers of visitors to the central clinic or primary health clinics is 48,943 till last June whereas the number of transferred students is 22,972. The total number of medical prescriptions in the school health program is 20,357 while 15,669 prescriptions were distributed by the general practitioner clinic, 3336 by the dental clinic, 1352 by ophthalmology, dermatology, and psychiatric clinics.

Students’ Health Education

The school health departments play an important role in enhancing health education among students. Such efforts enhance the students’ and families information, skills and trends in following the correct healthy lifestyles and protection against diseases.

Health Education Activities

The health education program is organized in cooperation with the ministries of Education and Culture, Youth and Community Development in addition to the competent departments in the Ministry of Health to raise the health awareness of students and encourage them adopt healthy lifestyles. Students are also encouraged through their curriculums to understand the importance of physical education and sports. We also reassure the importance of including health education curriculum in schools.

In this regard, the health education section in the ministry of education played an important role in providing school health activities and included 17 topics in the ministry’s annual plan to be implemented by a number of nurses and doctors from the ministry of health on weekly basis.

Last year, a number of school health activities were done for students, parents and staff members. The total numbers of attendees reached 1,311,240 people distributed on 25,987 topics or activities. The program concentrated on health, cleanliness, dental health, nutrition and health, physical education and activity, development and growth, HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases in relation to wrong behaviors, psychiatric health, diseases and death causes, smoking control, protection against violence and accidents, first aid, drugs, vaccinations and the best usage of health information and resources.

Health Awareness Programs

In coordination with the ministry of education, the ministry of health organized the clean student campaign about health and cleanliness. The program targeted grades 1-3 students and highlighted obesity control activities in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, health enhancement programs and asthma friendly schools to be applied in selective schools. The program also concentrated on the tobacco control programs in some schools to discuss the dangers of smoking on adolescents, training employees on the ways of dealing with diabetic students and first aid programs.

The school health program gives great concern to school environments in terms of creating an environment free of healthy risks. The program implements this step in the public schools by asking the administration to fill in the school environment assessment form throughout the last 3 years. The purpose is to disseminate awareness about health requirements to be met by schools, provide training programs for school employees at least one course for each education district, ensure the availability of clean water in at least 90% of the public schools.

The surveillance of school environment is one of the main responsibilities of nurses and doctors and continuous follow up with the ministries of education and public works and the municipality. About 89% of the public schools met the required and idea health standards.

School Nutrition

In order to reach the best health nutritious standards in schools, the school health department organizes several health nutrition activities in all the UAE schools at least twice a year. The department also provides a full assessment report of the school canteens to ensure the application of required and adequate safety and security standards and reassure that the correct balanced healthy foods are followed.

The nurse assures that the school canteen follows the required health conditions and may ask for daily samples of the presented foods and juices in preparation of their checkup by the municipality’s lab in case any students suffer from food poisoning. Both school health and health legislation departments in the Ministry of Health and in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and other competent authorities finished the final draft of the guideline directory for canteens and school nutrition and prepared a draft decision to be raised to the cabinet for their approval and implementation.

Physical Education Programs

The school health department aims at raising the physical activity of the students through organizing a number of health activities programs and train almost 90% of the sports teachers on the best ways of using first aid techniques in the next three years. About 7354 students were checked to ensure their physical fitness in the school health clinics. Additionally, 5341 students were checked in the school clinics while 2013 students were checked in the central clinics until June 2011.

Research and Studies

The ministry applied a number of researches and studies on the districts by distributing the international health survey for school students for the second time last year. It also applied the school health department initiative such as the school health enhancement programs, asthma friendly schools, obesity control programs, smoking control programs and first aid initiatives.

School Health Recommendations

Based on the report of the school health department for the year 2010-2011, the report recommended the necessity of providing the required support, resources, needs, equipments and machines.

In order to apply all the elements of the report, the issue requires cooperation of all community members to improve the school health nutrition and environment and supervise the private schools too. To improve the psychiatric school health and nutrition services, there must be full time health employees who are the best people to give these students care and support.

The report also recommends establishing a database that would serve the school health clinics and central clinics, forming a committee from the ministries of health, education and municipalities as well as other competent authorities to support the health promotion program and follow its implementation in public and private schools.

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