Schools must promote students’ health

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Myanmar’s school year starts in the early monsoon period. After children spend the summer with their parents, they head to the classroom and into the care of teachers whose enthusiasm has been renewed after the long break.
In addition to their academic duty, teachers must consider the food and personal hygiene of the children. They also have to examine snack stalls at schools to prevent seasonal, airborne and waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea, flu and malaria.
As times change, we should be on the alert for more bacterial infections. At this juncture, medical staff must fully participate in healthcare programmes at schools. They need to give educative talks at the start of school season. Only then can both children and teachers concentrate on education happily and healthily.
Even though Myanmar school children do not yet receive school nutrition programmes, they should undergo basic healthcare programmes that allow the nation to develop education and health simultaneously in a cost-effective fashion. Education is interrelated with social, economic and political conditions.
School and youth health programmes should cover potential health issues faced by school children in accordance with the findings of the World Health Organization.
The UN body has compiled a huge body of data on the health risks faced by children and teenagers around the world. Among them, worm infections are the greatest cause of disease among 5-14 year old children, while Vitamin A deficiency is the single greatest cause of preventable childhood blindness. Additionally, 15- to 24-year-olds comprise 60 percent of all new HIV infections.
Therefore, collaboration between health and education agencies is vital to improve public health through schools.

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