Health lessons for Abu Dhabi schoolchildren after spring break

The School Health Education Project, designed by Unicef, will see secondary school students receive more interactive lessons on healthcare after the spring break.

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ABU DHABI // Pupils at selected schools are to start receiving more interactive health sessions after the spring break holidays, as part of a joint education programme.

School nurses from 18 secondary schools across the country are participating in the School Health Education Project, designed by Unicef and implemented by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and telecoms company du.

The goal is to provide more participatory lessons on health to students aged 12 to 15. Each nurse is to deliver a health education session to school students from grades six, seven, eight and nine, based on a draft training manual provided to them.

“These will be delivered as soon as the students are back from their spring break,” said Dr Dalia Haroun, public health and nutrition specialist at Unicef. “We will be evaluating the effectiveness of the project using pre- and post-assessments.”

Nurses will gather again for a one-day evaluation workshop at the end of May or in June for feedback on the project, Dr Haroun said.

“The training manual would then be finalised and provided to the health and education authorities in order to mainstream the project,” said Dr Haroun said.

Some health experts have called for a more engaging learning approach to health for this hard-to-reach age group. Health surveys have shown that 40 per cent of 12 to 15-year-olds are overweight or obese.

Unicef and health and education officials announced the launch of the programme in December last year.

lcarroll@thenational.ae