Health February 22, 2024 - 4:11 pm

Minerd extending the school health program to all educational centers nationwide

Santo Domingo.- The Ministry of Education in the Dominican Republic (Minerd) has unveiled its ambitious plan to extend the School Health Program to encompass all educational institutions across the nation by 2024. This strategic move aims to instill a culture of disease prevention and foster healthy eating habits among students.

The comprehensive initiative, designed for both the medium and long term, seeks to address various health challenges faced by children, adolescents, young people, and teachers. These challenges include combating rates of overweight and obesity, addressing malnutrition, ensuring immunizations for preventable diseases, prioritizing mental health, conducting health evaluations, and implementing preventive measures. The ultimate goal is to enhance educational achievements and positively impact the overall well-being of families.

The Ministry of Education is collaborating closely with the Ministries of Public Health and Social Assistance, Economy, Planning and Development, as well as the National Health Service, Essential Medicines Program, and Central Logistics Support (Promesecal). This collaboration aims to guarantee health within the educational community, reduce disruptions to learning, and promote a culture of self-care and a healthy lifestyle.

A noteworthy addition to the program is the involvement of the Dominican Medical College (CMD) and its president, Waldo Ariel Suero, reflecting a commitment to bringing healthcare closer to the school population. The program is set to incorporate medical care within schools, representing a significant enhancement to the School Health Program.

Numerous coordination meetings have taken place with various ministries and entities involved in the program. These meetings have resulted in coordinated actions, including vaccination campaigns, initiatives focused on hearing and dental health, and other measures aimed at benefiting students.

In 2023, Minerd, in collaboration with allied entities, initiated the pilot phase of the program at the Inmaculada Fe y Alegría School in Los Frailes II, part of Educational District 10-06. This pilot phase involved 1,014 students and 63 members of the teaching and administrative teams.

Furthermore, extensive training and awareness-raising efforts have been conducted for all stakeholders involved in a sample of 50 educational centers, representing 19,000 students across the seven health regions affiliated with the National Health Service of the Dominican Republic.

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