The Ministry of Health today concludes the Global School Based Student Health Survey. The survey was conducted nationwide in selected high schools and primary schools, particularly with students in Standard Six. Student between ages thirteen and fifteen years took part in the survey. National Surveillance Officer at the Ministry of Health Emmanuel Englebert tells us more about the survey.

Emmanuel Englebert – National Surveillance Officer, Ministry of Health
“It’s the first ever Global School Based survey held in Belize and it is to capture primary data in terms of health patterns within that population cohort. We are looking at lifestyle practices in terms of their knowledge of health related events such as alcohol use, their dietary behavior, drug use, mainly hygiene, mental health, their physical activity and we are looking at protective factors such as bullying, gender based violence. We are looking at their knowledge in terms of sexual behavior that contributes to HIV infections and other sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies. So our main objective is to look at their behavior and patterns, collect baseline information so that we can then address any health problems within this specific population.”

The data will be reviewed after which an analytical report will be prepared.

Emmanuel Englebert – National Surveillance Officer, Ministry of Health
“The analytical report will be looking at major findings and making recommendations to the Ministry of Health and Education in terms of school based health programs that would assist children within this age group throughout the country to decrease any health related problems we may find from the research. So basically that is the next step.”

Dalila Ical - Reporter
“Will this be something that will be continued?

Emmanuel Englebert – National Surveillance Officer, Ministry of Health
“Yes, this is a global survey whereby it is being monitored every three years or we collect data every three years to look at patterns not only in our country but within the region and as I said it is funded by CDC and PAHO. Definitely we have to have follow-up data collection to see if from any programs or any policy being implemented, whether or not they are effective within three years after the report is finalized and any policy is put in place.”

Approximately 1875 students took part in the survey. It is funded by the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO, and the Center for Disease Control, CDC. It was developed by the World health Organization, WHO in collaboration with United Natins’ UNICEF, UNESCO and UNAIDS.