Awareness programmes on child health not adequate:
Minister directs appointment of Public Health Advisory Committee
August 4, 2010, 12:00 pm
by Dasun Edirisinghe
Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday directed that a Public Health Advisory Committee on Children be appointed as many children’s diseases have been found fast spreading during last few years.
The Minister told his officials that the existing awareness programmes on childrens’ health were not enough to create awareness. This has led to series of problems including sexual harassment of children.
Once the Committee is appointed handbooks on children’s health will be printed and distributed to all schools, the Minister said.
According to surveys conducted by the Health Ministry, about 10 to 15 per cent of the student population suffer from diabetes and 30 per cent of them suffer from malnutrition. Sirisena said that some children do not eat before they leave home for school, either due to lack of food or time.
He also said due to private tuition classes and other busy schedules many children have no time for physical activities.
Most students below 14 years have dental cavities, according to the Dental Unit of the Ministry, he said and added that the main reason of this was lack of awareness about dental diseases.
The proposed public health advisory committee on children will include health and education ministry officials, experts in the field and the officials from the National Institute of Education.
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