General Department of Preventive Medicine study finds many students suffering from poor health and hygiene.
Health issues affecting school students have been on the rise in Vietnam recently, according to the General Department of Preventive Medicine.
It is estimated that about 20-35 per cent of students became nearsighted while some 15-30 per cent suffer scoliosis. There are also “new” health problems appearing among students, such as obesity and mental disorders, which grew to 40 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, while 60-95 per cent have dental-related issues. The department also revealed that 16.9 per cent of students have had suicidal thoughts, 21.8 per cent of which sought help from doctors. This is regarded as the result of increased pressure at school and Vietnam’s rapid socioeconomic development.
Meanwhile, only 18 per cent of students wash their hands with soap frequently or eat a healthy portion of vegetables daily, while 42 per cent were found to be physically inactive. Poor hygiene and sanitary conditions coupled with a lack of health facilities and medical staff at schools, particularly in rural areas, have increased the risk of communicable diseases in students, the department said.
It called for an increase in school-based caregivers and suggested that schools without a health worker should be provided with support from commune-based medical stations. It also recommended that students receive health checks at least once per school year, for the early identification of any health risk.