School children in Guyana will soon benefit from free health screening as the ministries of Education and Health refine protocols for implementation soon.
This was disclosed by Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony who said the screening will be done at various intervals in the child’s school life, to ensure a clean bill of health.
“We have a package of services that we are developing where we want to screen this child and that would include making sure that they get an eye test, making sure that they get an oral examination to see if they have a bad tooth, check their hearing and some other basic things”, Dr Anthony said.
The programme aims to ensure that the nation’s children are offered preventative care and opportunities for a healthy lifestyle through early detection of any health-related issues.
“If we detect children with these kinds of challenges, we will be able to fix it, sometimes children are in the classroom and they are not learning properly because they have some form of disability, whether hearing, not seeing well, and so forth and once these things are corrected and corrected early, we can prevent a lot of learning loss,” Dr Anthony said.
The ministry will also be working with several partners on a programme to reduce teenage pregnancy.
“When a young girl gets pregnant it can be very disruptive to their education and their further development and so forth,” Dr Anthony explained.
Also, among the Ministry of Health’s plan for young people is the introduction of a programme to foster healthy lifestyles which includes promoting healthy eating habits and exercise.
The ministry is hoping that the initiative, will prevent chronic non-communicable diseases later in their life.
Dr Anthony added that “part of the things that were doing is to ensure we start getting young people to understand, they have to be active, they have to eat properly, not just a balanced meal but a nutritious meal and a whole host of other essential things that we feel are essential to prevent these diseases from happening.”