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Boost for child safety

Asma Ali Zain / 1 June 2012

The framework for a UAE-wide child injury surveillance system has been completed and is awaiting final approval, said a senior official from the Dubai Health Authority.

Once in place, this will ensure that scattered information regarding childhood injuries is brought to a single workable point.

Injuries are one of the leading causes of death among children in the country.

Though optimal data is scarce, local studies suggest that the most common injuries among children in the UAE are related to road accidents, drowning, burns and falls. Regionally, the average rate of injuries here is 19 per cent higher than the average world rate.

On Thursday, the Dubai Health Authority felicitated 100 school students who were trained to teach their peers on the ways to reduce accidents at homes, schools and roads.

The children were trained under the Child Injury Prevention Project launched by Unicef and DHA. The project is part of a wider injury prevention strategy for the entire Dubai population.

“There will be one governing body for the multi-sectoral reporting system,” said Laila Al Jassmi, CEO of Health Policy and Strategy Sector.

Students between the ages of 12 and 15 years from nine schools in Dubai and eight schools in Sharjah were trained to educate their peers through different initiatives.

A survey done by the DHA found that children placed complete trust in their fellow students followed by mothers, sports, science and religious education female teachers. Doctors fell in the 11th place while nurses stood at the 8th in terms of winning trust of children.

Lara Hussein, chief of Child Protection, Unicef, said: “Following the success of the first phase of the project, we decided to replicate this project to reach a larger number of students from schools in both Dubai and Sharjah.”

She said the project will empower adolescents by giving them the rights to participate, and also boost their learning ability.

Aisha Al Siri, Director of School Health, at the Ministry of Education said: “Most students know how to prevent themselves from burns but we want them to know more about traffic accidents.”


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