The Ministry of Health & Medical Services remains concerned with the overall health status of school students in Fiji as the Global School Based Health Survey (GSHS) Fiji reports that children’s lifestyles are generally unhealthy.
The report was launched today by the Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jone Usamate. “This data is now vital for the Health Ministry on areas to focus on in their school health services. The purpose of the GSHS is to establish and provide accurate data on health behaviour among students”.
The GSHS will also allow the Health Ministry to work with the Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Department Unit on how curriculum delivery could be improved to the extent where knowledge gained in the classroom translates into behaviour outside the classroom.
“An added strength of this undertaking is that the Ministries of Health and Education have collaborated on this relevant and timely undertaking”, said Mr Usamate.
Through this survey, Fiji has now extensive data on nine identified health risk factors. These include alcohol, dietary behaviours, drug use, mental health, physical activity, sexual behaviours, HIV related knowledge, tobacco use and violence and unintentional injury.
The survey suggests that a combination of issues affect student behavior. As such, effective intervention programs will require multifaceted approaches.
The Fiji GSHS was conducted by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Health (MOH) with technical assistance provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).