Under the Radar: Students Health

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Abu Dhabi


Health of students in Abu Dhabi


To determine the current health status of the younger population and identify factors that impairs their learning

Results of the medical examinations held in association with the Abu Dhabi Education Council? (ADEC), of 25,778 students announced on Monday by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) shows the following results:

  • 28.7% have an iron deficient anemia
  • 16.4% of the students are obese
  • 14.7% of students have abnormal vision
  • 13% of students are over weight
  • 12.5% of students are underweight
  • 6.6% of students have abnormal hearing
  • 1.1% of students have scoliosis (curvature of the spine).
  • Around 16,505 or 64% of the students also suffer from dental decay.

Extensive 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 center?s 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 center?s and were taking their medications.

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

Over view

?Child Obesity and Diabetes has been a problem in the UAE for many years. The government has launched many awareness campaigns to educate parents of good eating habits for children. Still that does not seem to be enough.

?This is summer, it is the best time for physical activities? Rasheeda a mother of two living in Mirdiff told Arabian Gazette.

Summer camps

There are many summer camps during the months of summer. However, most of them maybe expensive, there are cheap alternatives.

Outdoor activities

?Taking a child on a brisk walk, or playing ball with them or taking them cycling are all inexpensive ways of getting good physical exercise? Dr. Mohammed a Pediatrician from Dubai told Arabian Gazette. ?The main cause of Diabetes and Obesity is lack of exercise.?

Eating out culture

Eating healthily is an important step, equally important to exercising.

The UAE has become a culture of eating out. Expats and locals alike prefer to eat outside rather than homemade food. This culture is evident in young children. The array of fast food outlets does not make it any easy on young minds.

?Eating the right food is important as a good exercise program. This applies to anyone, either children or adults? a fitness trainee from Abu Dhabi Gym told Arabian Gazette. ?The right combination of exercise and diet is very important?.

Oral Hygiene

Maintaining oral hygiene is a simple procedure. Brushing ones teeth after every meal is a start. Children will find it cumbersome to keep brushing during the day but a good oral hygiene stays with them throughout life.

Parents need to take a more active role in making their children healthy individuals.

Source: Khaleej Times

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