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MoHAP hosts two training workshops on how to promote health in schools & manage childhood obesity.

MoHAP hosts two training workshops on how to promote health in schools & manage childhood obesity.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024/ Editor -  

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  • Workshops to promote a healthy lifestyle in schools and help combat childhood obesity.
  • Conducted in cooperation with relevant authorities within the framework of a multisectoral national plan and aligned with best practices and WHO guidelines.

Dubai March 5th,2024: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, has organized two training workshops: 'Health Promoting Schools (HPS)' and 'The basics of effective health communication for childhood obesity management,” to develop an action plan that bolsters the health system's efficiency in collaboration with relevant bodies.

The action plan falls within the framework of a multi-sectoral national strategy to encourage healthy lifestyles in schools and tackle childhood obesity in line with the best practices and guidelines approved by the World Health Organization.

The plan will be developed following a thorough analysis of the current situation and consultations with strategic partners to identify essential and impactful priority actions for implementation.

The two workshops were held as part of MoHAP’s 'Comprehensive School Health Program' and its plans to enhance the skills and capabilities of health professionals and provide necessary information and tools to foster a health-centric school environment in close collaboration with educational institutions.

Promoting a healthy lifestyle in schools

The workshops were designed in line with the Ministry’s strategy to manage preventive and community health programs and enhance the quality of life at the state level. With a particular focus on students and parents, the initiative aimed to educate participants on the importance of preventive health practices, promote physical activity, advocate for healthy dietary habits, regulate sleep patterns, and manage screen time effectively.

Present at the workshops were HE Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, along with representatives from various health authorities, strategic partners, and experts from the World Health Organization.

The Health Promoting Schools program targets educational and health institutions, municipalities, and other relevant stakeholders. Meanwhile, the 'The basics of effective health communication for childhood obesity management' is aimed at school nurses as well as physical education teachers and social workers dealing with students having overweight issues.

Healthy school environment

HE Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand emphasized that the training workshops, held in cooperation with WHO and partners from both the government and private sectors, are crucial to the success of the 'Health-Promoting Schools' program.

The Health Promoting Schools approach was first articulated by WHO, UNESCO and UNICEF in 1995 and adopted in over 90 countries and territories. It aims to improve the psychological, and social quality of life for students. It focuses on introducing innovative activities and programmes to meet the health needs of students, particularly in combating obesity. By promoting nutrition and physical activities, the initiative strives to enhance the health, well-being, and overall wellness of students, in accordance with the National Nutrition Strategy 2030.

Dr. Al Rand further added that the Ministry is committed to supplying essential information and resources to nurture a safe and healthy school environment. This is achieved through effective collaboration with educational authorities to implement the 'Health Promoting Schools' initiative, highlighting the significance of good nutrition in schools and instilling the principles of a healthy lifestyle among students. Such initiatives are crucial not only for the health, growth, and development of school students but also as a key factor in enhancing mental faculties and advancing students' educational achievements.

Capacity building of healthcare professionals

Meanwhile, Nouf Khamis Al Ali, Director of the Health Promotion Department at MoHAP, said that the training workshops hosted in partnership with the World Health Organization plays a pivotal role in enhancing the skills of specialized personnel in spreading health practices and staying updated with the latest international developments and best practices within the Health Promotion Schools Programme.

She emphasized that the Ministry is committed to promoting healthy lifestyle habits and physical activity among school students to foster healthy school environments and develop effective communication with parents. This is crucial for supporting students dealing with or at risk of obesity and managing the use of electronic screens, as part of the outcomes of the National Nutrition Strategy, the National Wellbeing Strategy, and National Programme to Combat Childhood Obesity.

The Health Promoting Schools approach was first articulated by WHO, UNESCO and UNICEF in 1995 and adopted in over 90 countries and territories. It is structured around eight core criteria, which include government and school policies and resources, school governance and leadership, school-community partnerships, school curriculum as well as the social and physical environment, and school health services.


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