Survey finds poor health awareness in Andaman Schools

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Port Blair, Sep 26 (UNI) A recent base line survey by a few schools in Andaman and Nicobar Islands have found that the health awareness level is very poor in almost all schools of this remote archepelago.

The survey, conducted by Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) 'Aparajita' in April, was made public today at Port Blair by the non-profit society during a one-day Health Promotion Media Workshop.

The survey found many interesting facts like none of the schools was imparting health education in these remote islands and only 12 per cent children were washing hands before going for lunch in the school.

No student was using soap for washing their hands in school and only 2 per cent children brushed their teeth before going to bed.

''There is poor knowledge also on prevention of communicable and non-communicabie diseases according to our survey,'' Shisir Ranjan Dash, the Project Manager of VHAI-Aparajita told reporters.

According to the survey, all the schools have trained Physical Education Teachers (PET) but there was no examination for physical education.

VHAI is operational in Andaman and Nicobar Islands soon after the devastating tsunami of 2004. Mr Dash said students were over-burdened with curriculum based education. ''In a situation like this, there is possiblity that students will go through tremendous physical and mental pressure,'' Mr Dash told UNI.

To deal with the crisis situation, the VHAI has initiated its health promotion activites in nine schools of Port Blair, South Andaman and the worst tsunami hit islands of Nancowrie.

However, some organisations have raised finger at the survey saying the sample size was very small.

With more than 400 schools in these remote islands, survey of only five schools can never match the factual position, said Mr Basu Dev Dass, Director of Shyamprasad Institute for Social Services.

UNI

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