Sharjah: Challenges faced by Sharjah schools in a safe return to physical classes and nutritional needs of children were highlighted during the ‘Sehati (My Health) Conference’ held virtually on Wednesday.
A series of virtual panel discussions were held on the first day of the two-day conference, organised by the Health Promotion Department (HPD) and under the patronage of Shaikha Jawaher Bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs.
Themed ‘The safe return to schools amid COVID-19’, a panel discussion tackled issues related to the most important global health and preventive practises being followed to ensure a safe return to physical classrooms. During the session, Dr Dalia Samhouri, regional emergency director at World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, reviewed the most important global practises for achieving a safe return to educational institutions. Meanwhile, Dr Muhadditha Al Hashimi, chairperson, Sharjah Private Schools Authority, reviewed the experiences gained from handling various challenges in Sharjah schools — the most important being the nutritional needs of children and adolescents, ways to confront them and the mechanism for adopting a healthy diet in a way that contributes towards raising the body’s immunity and preventing diseases.
Promoting children’s health
The second session, held under the theme of ‘Promoting the physical and nutritional health of children and adolescents’, touched upon ways to address the nutritional challenges faced by children and adolescents as well as the pros and cons of dietary supplements.
Dr Ayoub Al Jawaldeh highlighted the importance of adopting a healthy diet by young people to boost their immune system and protect themselves from diseases. Also speaking at the session was Dr Ahmad Abdul Malik who emphasised the importance of taking dietary supplements as prescribed by doctors and to avoid taking them randomly to avert harmful side effects. Dr Osama Al Alla made a presentation, highlighting the importance of exercising for young people and its role in supporting their immune system, thereby enhancing their resistance to various diseases.
Other topics for discussion at the conference included methods of enhancing the physical, nutritional and psychological health of children and adolescents, mechanisms to create a healthy environment for distance learning, and the importance of vaccines in fighting infectious diseases. The event will also shed light on chronic, rheumatic and cardiovascular diseases among young people and ways to treat and prevent them.
The online event concludes on Thursday. Moderated by Dr Ibtihal Fadhil, chairperson of the Eastern Mediterranean NCD Alliance, the inaugural session discussed two working papers presented by Dr Al Hashimi and Dr Samhouri.