12 Mar 2012

Samoa health to push campaign on school nutrition and sanitation

1:53 pm on 12 March 2012

The increase in the number of students in Samoa affected by communicable and non- communicable diseases has sparked a campaign to develop nutrition standards and sanitation guidelines throughout all schools.

A survey shows that obesity in Samoan girls has increased from one to almost nine percent between 1979 and 2003 but boys has increased from 1.4 to about four percent.

The Ministry of Health says poor nutrition is a contributing factor because most schools are selling unhealthy foods that contain high level of fat, sugar and salt.

Meanwhile, of the 110 schools surveyed on sanitation standards 87 percent did not have soap for proper hand washing, while 20 percent did not have hand washing basins.

The Ministry action has resulted in one primary school being ordered to close last week because of the poor state of its toilets.

The parliamentary advocacy group for healthy living will launch the campaign starting in Upolu on Tuesday and then move to Savaii island on Wednesday.