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'Health Comes First': UAE Principals Hail Free Check-Ups For Students Going Back To School


(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)

Published: Fri 19 Aug 2022, 5:47 PM

Last updated: Fri 19 Aug 2022, 10:42 PM

Heads of schools in Abu Dhabi praised the healthcare facilities for launching wellness campaigns aimed at improving students' wellbeing ahead of their return to classrooms on August 29.

Several hospitals in the emirate are either offering free health check-ups or at discounted rates. Principals have urged parents to benefit from such health initiatives and assess the readiness of their children for classroom learning and physical activities. At a time when the UAE's daily Covid-19 cases are in a downward trend, school heads have raised concerns over students' health issues like weight gain, vision trouble, vitamin deficiency etc.

Neeraj Bhargava, principal, Abu Dhabi Indian School, noted that students tend to gain weight during summer vacation.

'Such wellness programmes for students are much needed now because parents at home have pampered them so much with good food and increased their weight. What we have observed is that weight gain has been a major issue. So, what they now require is a strict regime and, I think, school is the right place for it. Health comes first. We will try our best to provide them an environment in the school with focus on physical activities as they have been just sitting at home,' Bhargava said during the launch of 'Back to School' campaign by LLH Hospital in Abu Dhabi City.

Sajid Mehmood Kahute, principal, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Arab Pakistan School, drew an analogy from mathematics to explain students' wellbeing.

'As an educationist, I believed that there was a triangle in our system, which means a student, teacher and parent. But during the Covid-19, it's a new experience, as it has become a rectangle or a square with a doctor added into the system. Students were staying in their homes and spending time in front of screens, which would have created health problems. Now, they can get general advice from doctors. And after that once they are back to school, we are sitting there for their wellbeing.'

Rajendran Padmanabhan, principal, Sunrise International School, underlined that a check-up will help to evaluate the health of a child. 'Such programmes benefit the children. Two years of Covid-19 and two months of summer vacations have spoiled the health of children. This is the right time for such programmes. School is also available to conduct an in-campus screening session.'

Dr Haseena Begum, headmistress, Model School, said: 'I appreciate such initiatives. For educators and doctors learning never ends. A teacher and doctor are important for society. And now they are together for the benefit of the students.'

Sheela John, vice-principal, Sunrise International School, added: 'For the past two and a half years the frontline doctors and nurses looked after us and that's why we have reached here. We, all the schools, will support the health programmes for our students.'

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Apart from LLH Hospitals and a medical centre in the city and Shabiya 9, Millennium Hospital is also providing free checks for students.

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