(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Three Emirati female students from Zayed University here have launched a Health Awareness Campaign to teach children aged four to 13 years about the causes, symptoms and prevention of diseases through fun learning activities, workshops and story-telling.
This innovative approach to health care teaches children in the UAE and their parents how to cope with fevers and illness, and how to protect themselves from infections. These skills will be useful to the children throughout their lives, said Dr. Mona Al Bahar, Senior Executive Advisor for the Emirates Foundations Education and Social Development Programme, which sponsored the campaign.
According to Dr. Sharon Lynne Bryant, assistant professor at Zayed Universitys College of Education, the campaign started two years ago when some of her students wrote a series of three health booklets for children in Arabic and English. The booklets, titled Ooh! My Teeth!, Fever and Ooh! It Itches!, were aimed at telling children about the importance of proper dental care and how chickenpox and influenza are spread.
Speaking about the students involved in the campaign, Dr. Bryant said Ameera Al Hamiri, Haleema Abdullah and Nahla Al Sayed, promoted the health booklets by organising workshops in various schools and by applying innovative teaching techniques to deliver health awareness message to the children.
As future teachers and educators, it was important that the students learn how to deal with different age groups and how to apply flexible teaching strategies in delivering their message on health care, said Dr Bryant.
Its a great experience to be able to go to schools and interact with children and enhance their awareness about health related issues. In the beginning, it was difficult to persuade schools to agree to host our workshops, but now that they realise how beneficial these can be for children and their teachers, we are flooded with requests for more workshops, both from schools we have already visited, as well as those that have only heard about us, said Al Hamiri.
For their next health topics, the students are in the process of producing booklets on childhood obesity, diabetes and the importance of exercise. These problems are wide-spread in the UAE and its crucial that children are educated about them, said Abdulla.
Organising the health awareness workshops was a real challenge as we constantly have to come up with new fun and educational activities to keep the children interested in the subject of health care It was rewarding to see how much knowledge and awareness of health issues we were able to instill in children through workshops, concluded Al Sayed.