The Ministry of Education organised a health awareness exhibition at its headquarters, in recognition of World Food Day, under the slogan, “to satiate the world and take care of the planet”. The exhibition was a directive of His Excellency Hussein bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, who expressed that health, needs to be of optimum importance in the agenda of the Ministry’s plans for advancement. The aim of the exhibition was to inform employees and visitors of health education and the ways in which they can be healthy.
HE Marwan Sawaleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education browsed the various offerings at the Health Fair, which included a range of targeted stations aimed at raising awareness of healthy foods, as well as a health awareness lecture to staff and workers in the Ministry of Education on the topic of bio-rhythm and weight control.
Aisha Al Siri, Director of the Department of Nutrition and School Health in the Ministry of Education, confirmed that the aim of the event was to communicate and disseminate better health practices from various community health providers. Students, in particular were addressed by the school districts during a series of events over the past week.
She explained that the ministry previously collected some data on students that relate to matters of health, such as weight, in particular, to help to tackle the problem of obesity, as a first step. She noted that the ministry will now begin to include the rest of the data next year, to create a more comprehensive picture of the health situation of students. This will inform the development of important and appropriate formulas to track cases of students and address any negative effects before they emerge.
It was reported that among the health problems that may be overlooked is that of dehydration which can affect students and adults. She added that the climate of the UAE can cause dehydration in persons who are not careful to drink enough water daily and to keep their bodies cool. The lack of drinking adequate amounts of water daily may cause symptoms such as fatigue, lack of focus and disorientation. This ultimately affects the levels at which students are able to perform academically.
Miss Al Siri said that the Health Fair, which was held at the ministry’s headquarters, included 7 health stations to promote health awareness, a sample of “healthy food” that included a dish with the size of the correct daily food portion and a staff health seminar.
She added that, another feature of the exhibition was focused on the importance of drinking ample and sufficient amounts of water, and important role this plays in counteracting dehydration. There was a “physical activity” segment during which members of the audience were given live demonstrations of exercise moves and encouraged to exercise inside and/or outside of their homes.
A number of audience members were interested in learning more about their body mass index. This was carried out at one of the stations at which patrons were able to measure the proportion of fat, muscle and water in the body. Participants were given a reading and explanation of their BMI. Participants were advised to pay special attention to food labels and were given examples of how to read the food labels and what to look for. Other offerings included blood pressure and diabetes awareness.
– Ministry of Education News