Health survey raises concern

THE health status of students is an area of concern to the Health Ministry after a global survey revealed children’s lifestyle were becoming generally unhealthy.

During the launch of the Global School Based Health Survey (GSHS) in Sigatoka on Thursday, Assistant Minister for Health Veena Bhatnagar said the survey revealed a growing number of students were becoming obese.

According to the ministry, the Fiji GSHS suggested a combination of issues affect student behaviour including health.

“The Health Ministry should focus on school based health services after the GSHS provided accurate data that could help our students,” she said.

“The GSHS will also allow the Health Ministry to work with the Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Department Unit on how curriculum delivery could be improved to the extent where knowledge gained in the classroom translates into behaviour outside the classroom.

“An added strength of this undertaking is that the two ministries have collaborated on this relevant and timely undertaking.”

The survey identified nine health risk factors which include alcohol, dietary behaviours, drug use, mental health, physical activity, sexual behaviours, HIV related knowledge, tobacco use and violence and unintentional injury.