Supplies handed over to promote healthy learning environment
– will encourage establishment of health clubs in schools
In an effort to promote safe and healthy learning environments in Guyana, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission, handed over sporting equipment, personal hygiene items, and games to the Health Ministry.
Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony expressed that the project will encourage the establishment of health clubs in schools, as well as promote health and nutrition awareness.
“With these health clubs, they will be promoting and reinforcing some of the things they are being taught in school so that they can embrace a healthier lifestyle and play is a thing we want to use to get young people physically active. We’re also looking at nutrition, we want them to choose the right foods. In the health clubs, we have programmes that are geared to teach some of these things,” Dr Anthony said.
The minister also disclosed that the ministry is looking to implement a school screening programme.
“We will be looking at dental healthcare, screening for eye diseases, screening for hearing loss and several other parameters that we will be using. We are going to pilot that, and we are going to extend it to the country at large so that every child would eventually be screened at critical points during their school year,” he stated.
High Commissioner of Canada to Guyana, Mark Berman noted that the project is important to Canada, as it prioritises and targets advancements in education, gender responsiveness and migrant support.
“This project is working to build communities, child care and education services and facilities to ensure those facing increased vulnerabilities don’t fall behind while recovering from the COVID pandemic. This project also helps to ensure that secondary school dormitories, in particular have access to gender-responsive programmes for healthier lifestyles to help reduce gender-based violence and ensure that dormitories themselves are safe and healthy,” he said.
UNICEF Area Representative Nicolas Pron lauded the government’s efforts in encouraging safe and healthy learning and living environments for vulnerable communities.
He disclosed that more than 10, 000 adolescents will benefit from the supplies.
“We have a very strong gender component and all the activities are implemented with that in mind. Therefore, it is very important as we move along and implement this project in several regions of Guyana, that we keepthis gender aspect in mind topromote a healthy learning environment for all adolescents, especially girls.”
Director of Primary Health Care at the Health Ministry, Dr Ertenisa Hamilton, and Canadian High Commissioner for a Day awardee, Ellen Gopaul were also present at the simple ceremony.