Sharjah, Sep 04, 2019: The Health Promotion Department at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah (SCFA) announced launching the first phase of the Healthy Schools Program approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The program launched in collaboration with the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) and the Royal Health Awareness Society, Jordan.
the Health Promotion Department is the UAE's first institution that launches the “Healthy Schools” program in line with WHO's requirements and standards. Additionally, this program is one of the outcomes of the “My Health” 7th Regional Conference, organized by the Health Promotion Department, which focused on the theme of nutrition, as a key factor in preventing chronic diseases among children and adolescents.
Great Acceptance Among the Concerned Authorities
HE Iman Rashid Saif, Director of the Health Promotion Department, said that the program workgroups have completed the entire preparations for launching the first phase of the program.
The three-year program is targeting 112 private schools and 183926 of private schools' students, nurseries, kindergartens, the academic staff, school management, the parents and all relevant categories in the society.
Saif stated that Healthy School program is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, noting that the idea of the program has a great acceptance among the concerned authorities.
She went on saying: “After the announcement of the program last June, the workgroups held a number of coordination meetings to review means of cooperation with the relevant government and private sectors in the Emirate of Sharjah. Also, panel discussions were held with the students, parents, media, community figures to discuss the areas covered by this program.”
The Director of the Health Promotion Department pointed out that the first phase of the program launched on September. This phase includes the signing of a cooperation agreement with the participating and cooperating authorities and the organization of a training workshop for those who are responsible for implementing the program, in cooperation with a number of experts from WHO.
The UAE Vision 2021
Saif highlighted the great significance of Healthy Schools program as it aims to enhance and develop a healthy and safe environment in schools, underlining that such an environment will positively affect the growth of the students physically, socially and educationally.
“In addition, the program will help improve the school environment through the implementation of certain criteria for evaluation. This includes the evaluation of school buildings and its surroundings, with a particular focus on the physical activity, proper nutrition, students' mental health and ways of prevention from infectious diseases,” Saif noted.
She added that the program is working under the umbrella of the UAE Vision 2021 in terms of achieving the indicator of reducing obesity rates among children and adolescents and providing a healthy environment that promotes the healthy behaviors among the students, in addition to elevating the capability of the schools to confront health challenges.
Moreover, the program aims to reinforce the relationship between the academic and administrative staff and the students and their parents from one side, and local community and health and education sectors from the other side.
The WHO's initiative “Health Promoting Schools” is a key priority within the WHO Vision 2023 for the East Mediterranean Region. Such an initiative which is calling for health for all people everywhere. The initiative also recommends that every school should be a health-promoting school, through the improvement of the health of the students and their parents, school workers and members of the society.