Queen Rania chairs Royal Health Awareness Society Board of Trustees meeting at a public school in Ballas / Ajloun

15/05/2017 Chaired by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, RHAS held its annual Board of Trustees Meeting, at Ballas Secondary School for Girls in Ajloun on Monday 15 May 2017. Her Majesty and the Board members overviewed the achievements with regards to RHAS programs implemented to raise public health awareness, especially in schools.

The Director General of RHAS, Ms. Hanin Odeh, presented a progress update on RHAS programs and achievements over the past year, in partnership with the Ministries of Health and Education as well as the private sector and international organizations. She also presented RHAS’ priorities and future plans for the next year, which seek to develop RHAS programs, assess their impact and scale to reach a larger number of beneficiaries.

Her Majesty stressed on ….

The number of schools participating in the National Accreditation Healthy Schools program has reached 484 schools to date, benefitting about 310,000 students, in addition to the training of 1,800 teachers. Schools have implemented 80 community health initiatives. RHAS is working to ensure that the program is not only an accreditation program, but also an umbrella to foster a number of specific health awareness interventions, to help schools find the right materials and tools for health education during the course of the five years of their participation as Healthy Schools. Some of these programs include: Think First for Injury Prevention, Ajyal Salima Nutrition Awareness Program, Water Education Project (Wet), WASH, among others.

In cooperation with Mentor Arabia, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and the AntiNarcotics Department, RHAS launched “Generations Protected (Tahseen)” in 100 public schools to protect youth and children from risky behaviors of addiction to smoking and drugs. The initiative targets counselors, students as well as their parents. The initiative comprises of three different programs designed for the various age groups; Unplugged for grades 7-8, focused on building social and life skills for students; the Anti-Smoking Ambassadors program for grades 4-6, which includes interactive activities on the harmful effects of smoking; and the YPeer Educators for youth 18-25 years old.

As for the Healthy Community Clinic Program, it has been extended to nine governorates in 21 MoH health centers. RHAS is also continuing its work on Shababna "Youth for Health" program to raise health awareness among youth in universities by offering training interactive courses through which students can implement health initiatives in their universities.

The meeting was attended by members of the board of trustees: Dr. Rami Farraj, Zahi El Masry, Lina Hundaileh, Ghassan Nuqul, Ghassan El Lahham, Lana Kalimat, Dr. Nasri Khoury, Dr. Fayez Abu Hmaidan, Dr. Sanad El Kilani, Dr. Issam Al Saket and Dr. Basma El Khatib.

Following the meeting, Her Majesty toured Ballas Secondary School for Girls and joined a classroom where 30 students were implementing a number of activities from the Ajyal Salima program. RHAS has been implementing the program for the second year in collaboration with Nestle, MoE, MoH and the American University of Beirut. The program aims to educate students aged 9-11 years about the importance of healthy nutrition and physical activity to reduce unhealthy eating behaviors, through 12 interactive sessions. To date, the program has been implemented by 36 schools, targeting 6,237 students in the 4th, 5th and 6th grades, with 115 trained teachers. The program resulted in the implementation of 23 Ajyal Salima open days with 580 parents engaged.

The Director General of RHAS Hanin Odeh presented the results of the assessment study conducted by AUB to measure the level of change in the behavior of healthy nutrition for targeted students in the pilot phase. The results of the study showed a rise in the level of students' knowledge in the major health and nutrition behaviors, and their positive decision to follow these behaviors. In addition, there was noticeable improvement in the application of these behaviors in their daily lives, such as increased rates of having breakfast, increased intake of vegetables and fruits, low consumption of chips, soft drinks and sweetened juices in general. The study also showed positive results regarding the reactions of the parents, where fruits and vegetables have become more available, and chips and soft drink became less available at home. The visit was attended by Omar El Helou, Nestlé Jordan General Manager, Karine Antoniades, Regional Director of Public Affairs, and Dr. Carla Habib, nutrition expert at the American University of Beirut.

Towards the end of the visit, Her Majesty passed by Ballas Charity Association to see the Healthy Kitchen operations and meet with the women working there. The women expressed how important this project has been for the provision of healthy nutritious meals to the school children in their area, while providing them with job opportunities and the ability to financially support their families.

The project is currently being implemented by RHAS in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the World Food Program in 57 schools under the school feeding program in poverty pockets. It is currently benefiting 11,400 students, and has created 100 job opportunities, mostly women in local communities.

Royal Health Awareness Society

Address: Medical City Circle-Yousef Imaish St. P.O.Box 699 Amman , 11821 Jordan
Tel: 962 6 554 1899

Fax: 962 6 554 1898
E-mail: info@rhas.org.jo

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