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Health and Education: Stronger Together conference

On May 17, The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the Belgian Red Cross Flanders (BRC-F) jointly organized a special session entitled, Where Education Meets Health: Health Education for Children and Adolescents at the Health and Education: Stronger Together conference  in Brussels.  The central theme of the conference explored the intersection between health and education in international cooperation. The IDF-BRC-F session focused on developing adequate and contextualized teaching materials to promote general understanding of diabetes and first aid to enhance children and adolescents’ ability to be more resilient, safer and healthier. 

The IDF joint session was opened by the BRC-F who have developed an “educational pathway” to teach children and adolescents in schools on first aid knowledge, skills and attitudes. In the second half, Dr. Monika Arora (Public Health Foundation of India) presented the Kids and Diabetes in Schools (KiDS) project to the audience. Dr. Arora has been a member of the KiDS Advisory Committee since the project’s commencement and has lead the KiDS Team in India during the implementation and evaluation phase of the project.

She touched upon the development of resources such as the KiDS information pack and explained in detail how the project was implemented simultaneously in both India and Brazil, training primary school teachers and students. Dr. Arora emphasised the need for support from educational institutions to ensure a safe and supportive environment for children with diabetes to avoid discrimination and stigmatisation as well as the importance of living a healthy lifestyle to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

Her presentation concluded with the announcement of the newest KiDS resource: an educational guide on nutrition and diabetes in schools. Following the presentation, speakers and audience members discussed opportunities and challenges on introducing health-education projects into the education curriculum.

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