Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed at press conference to launch a campaign screening 12 million school students to determine the prevalence of obesity, anaemia, and dwarfness in Cairo, Egypt. February 16, 2019. Egypt Today/Solayman al-Oteify
CAIRO - 16 February 2019: A nationwide campaign to screen school students was launched on Saturday. The purpose is to determine the prevalence of obesity, anemia, and dwarfness. The announcement was made during a joint press conference by ministers of health and education.
Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed stated that the screening would target almost 12 million students - aged between six and 12 - at 22,000 public, private, and Azhar schools. She explained that the campaign would involve 4,420 medical teams and 225 clinics.
Zayed clarified that students who need treatment would be referred to a Health Insurance clinic, to receive a free service.
The minister added that the campaign will be executed over three phases, and that check-ups would take place after providing a written consent of a parent and the student’s birth certificate.
The first phase will include Fayoum, Damietta, Asyut, Matrouh, Port Said, South Sinai, Qalyubia, Beheira, Alexandria, Giza, and Qena. The second phase consist of Cairo, Suez, Ismailiyah, Kafr El Sheikh, Menoufia, Beni Suef, Sohag, North Sinai, Red Sea, Aswan, and Luxor. The last phase will take place in Daqahliyah, Sharqeya, Gharbeya, Minya, and the New Valley.
The campaign will kick off on February 17 and end on April 30. The first two phases will respectively screen five million, and three million schools students. As for dropouts, health ministry will collaborate with the Ministry of Interior to carry out check-ups for them.
Minister Zayed encouraged the civil society to help raising awareness on nutrition and delivering healthy food to low-income families. She called upon fast food outlets and snack companies to decrease fats in their products. The minister stated that obesity is quite common in international schools.
The minister announced that a nationwide campaign would be launched soon to raise awareness on public health, healthy lifestyle, and the importance of breastfeeding.
Three years ago, a campaign was launched to vaccinate children against intestinal parasites. The target was achieved by 70 percent as eight million children were vaccinated.