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| 18 July, 2018

Dubai schools to increase physical activity to 150 minutes a week

DHA recently launched the Dubai School Health Policy

Image used for illustrative purpose. Secondary students gather on stage ahead of their weekly assembly meeting on the last week of the school term in Wellington International School in Dubai.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Secondary students gather on stage ahead of their weekly assembly meeting on the last week of the school term in Wellington International School in Dubai.

REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh

DUBAI-- In a move to help implement the comprehensive Dubai School Health Policy, the Dubai Health Authority, DHA, and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, KHDA, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU.

The DHA developed the five-year policy after extensive consultation with stakeholders including the KHDA, Dubai Municipality and Dubai Sports Council with an aim to create a safe, healthy and motivating school environment for pupils.

The MoU with the KHDA will support the implementation of the policy. It will aid in the unification of important processes such as screening, school health clinic set-up and help enhance students’ health and well-being.

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Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the DHA, said, "In line with the vision of our leaders and in line with the DHA Health Strategy 2016-2021, we are keen to provide our community with the highest level of quality health services. School health is undoubtedly an important focus. We recently launched the Dubai School Health Policy after extensive consultation and feedback from various stakeholders including the KHDA.

"We are pleased to continue our collaboration with the KHDA with the common goal of implementing this policy that will unify several school health practices. It will lay the foundation for schools to adhere to certain standards to ensure the physical, emotional, social and psychological well-being of school children." Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the KHDA in Dubai, said, "We are pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with the DHA to enhance the well-being of students in private schools in Dubai." He noted that the MOU marks an extension of joint efforts between the various working groups to promote healthy lifestyles and sports in all educational institutions.

"The well-being and happiness of our students and the adoption of healthy lifestyles are a priority for our staff. We will continue to work with our colleagues at the DHA to support our stakeholders schools, universities, students, parents, educators and investors to reach our common goals and to improve the happiness of our students and our community to achieve the future objectives of the emirate of Dubai," Dr. Abdulla added.

The KHDA will cooperate with the DHA to implement the policy across private schools in Dubai. Some of the areas of collaboration as part of the MoU state that schools should encourage students to increase physical activity to 150 minutes a week.

The DHA will train healthcare professionals on its comprehensive screening programme that includes vision, dental, obesity and mental health. The aim is to promote early intervention, unify the screening process, and ensure all schools follow comprehensive guidelines.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2018.