The Ministry of Health and Prevention has launched the "Student Growth Record" national initiative during its participation in the Arab Health 2019 Exhibition and Conference, which is being held during January 28-31 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The Student Growth Record will represent both a national electronic platform and a future database, and the first phase of this initiative will aim to support the national programme to combat obesity in children and adolescents, one of the initiatives of the National Agenda indicator on the prevalence of obesity amongst children.
The record will highlight cases of obesity annually among school children between the ages of 5 to 17 in the country. The record will also provide information on the dietary habits and level of physical activity of every child, as well as other health-related behaviours that contribute to preventing obesity.
The second phase of the initiative will include adding further health-related information on each student, such as the immunization record, the presence of allergies from medicine or food, and any special needs such as poor vision or hearing, as well as the existence of any chronic diseases.
HE Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Health Centers and Clinics Sector at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, remarked that the "Student Growth Record" national initiative will aim to provide both a national electronic platform and a future database that help to enhance the results of the national indicator on the prevalence of obesity amongst children, in order to reduce the obesity rate to 12%, which is in accordance to the National Agenda 2021.
HE Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand pointed out that the first phase of the Student Growth Record was launched in accordance to a national plan of action that aims to monitor obesity rates and to change behaviours by incorporating healthy practices in schools, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, and other health authorities and local and federal bodies.
Al Rand remarked that the second phase of the initiative will be part of a national policy on the health of children and adolescents in the country, and it will aim to enhance their physiological and psychological development. He added that the second phase of the initiative will also aim to enhance participation in child health research worldwide.
Dr Fadila Mohammad Sharif, the Director of Health Education and Promotion at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, clarified that the "Student Growth Record" national initiative will play a large part in enhancing the health of children in the country by implementing and evaluating programs that aim to reduce their obesity rates, which are based on the results and reports issued by this initiative. She also stated that obesity is one of the most prominent factors that lead to noncommunicable diseases, which have become a global health challenge in recent years due to the large number of diseases resulting from it. She added that diseases resulting from obesity are impeding national development efforts, and negatively affecting the standard of living in society, as well as creating a financial burden for national healthcare systems