MoH, UNFPA to give ‘life’ lessons to Omani schoolkids

By Kabeer Yousuf — MUSCAT: May 7 – Educationists from across the country will be the torchbearers in guiding the Omani schoolchildren towards leading a healthier and meaningful life, besides training them to make values and morals as part of their lifestyle.
A week-long training session initiated by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in association with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) got underway on Sunday at the ministry premises under the training of Hiba.
The programme hosts 21 education experts and trainers from various schools, colleges and ministries who will later visit the government schools across the country and conduct training for Omani youth.
“Children are the future of Oman and once they are given the best lessons in life at a tender age, they will be changers of tomorrow,” Faiqa al Sinawi, Director of Department of School and University
Health, Directorate General of Primary Health Care, Ministry of Health, said.
The workshop trainer is a Lebanese expert, Rana Hadda. Recommended by UNFPA, the trainer has long experience in providing such training for health and social educators.
The five-day workshop curriculum consists of seven manuals, including Y-Peer Educators Manual, Y-Peers Manual, road safety, tobacco abuse, violence among youth, nutrition, and life skills manual, besides communicable diseases, and non-communicable diseases, and healthy eating. Lessons are based on United Nations research papers and findings.
Apart from the above-mentioned UN manuals and topics initiated by the MoH, the trainer will also guide trainers on how to deal with the youth and how to befriend a child who needs attention.
“The goal of the programme is to promote awareness among school students with regard to health topics and enhance their knowledge and change their mindset so they avoid the dangers youth are facing nowadays and increase their physical activity,” Shaima Aly, Programme Associate of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Sub-Regional Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, said.
The programme follows the ministry’s strategy to promote healthy lifestyles to reduce non-communicable diseases among the people starting from schools while following the UNFPA mandate on supporting youth empowerment programmes.
UNFPA is the world’s largest source of population assistance with programmes in over 170 countries. It promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy life of health and equal opportunities.
UNFPA has been providing technical assistance in the Sultanate since 1990s. UNFPA inaugurated its sub-regional office in 2006. It has several national programmes tailored to provide technical support within the GCC.
The triangular programme between UNFPA, MoH and the Ministry of Education is expected to include similar centralised and non-centralised training programmes provided by UNFPA and the Ministry of Education to health educators at schools in other governorates, covering the whole of the Sultanate.