Egypt screens 750,000 primary school students for anemia, obesity & dwarfism

Ahram Online , MENA , Friday 23 Dec 2022

More than 750,000 children have been examined since the start of this school year as part of the presidential initiative for the early detection of anemia, obesity and dwarfism among primary school students.

Medical team assesses students in Beheira governorate in the Nile Delta. Al-Ahram


According to a statement by the Ministry of Health and Population on Thursday, the initiative, which was launched in 2019 to target students aged 6 to 12 years old, will continue until the end of the current school year.

The total number of primary school students that were enrolled in the academic year of 2020-2021 amounted to 1,337,000, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS). 

The primary school initiative covers both Egyptian and non-Egyptian students, according to Ministry of Health and Population spokesman Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar.

It comes under the umbrella of the larger 100 Million Healthy Lives presidential initiative for the early detection and treatment of many serious diseases.

According to recent government figures, the percentage of children in primary schools who suffer from anemia was estimated at 33 percent, while 13.5 percent were estimated to suffer from obesity and five percent suffer from dwarfism.

The initiative currently targets to cover a total of 30,000 public and private primary schools across all governorates.

According to Tamer Samir, the coordinator of the initiative, a total of 2,400 medical teams are carrying out the initiative nationwide, with each team comprising a nurse, a laboratory technician and an administrator.

The medical team starts off examinations by assessing students’ weight, height, and hemoglobin to screen for signs of malnutrition, Samir explained.

The team takes all precautionary measures during the initiative and educate students about these measures, he stressed.

The hotline 106 is available to answer all inquiries about the campaign, Samir noted.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Dahi, the head of the General Health Insurance Authority, said that students who are found to suffer any of the illnesses screened for are referred to any of 255 Health Insurance clinics to undergo further examinations and receive treatment free of charge.

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