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  • WMU Gives Support to Healthy China Initiative

  • On July 26, the Healthy China series press conference on health promotion in primary and secondary schools was held in Beijing. Wang Dengfeng, director of Department of Sports, Health and Arts Education of Ministry of Education, Prof. Lu Fan, secretary of the CPC WMU Committee, Prof. Chen Peijie, president of Shanghai University of Sport delivered speeches about health promotion in primary and secondary schools. Two WMU alumni, Prof. Lu fan and her senior, prof. Chen Peijie, a 1978 alumnus, respectively interpreted the current situation and gave suggestions from the perspective of experts on the prevention and control of myopia and the improvement of physical health of teenagers.

    On July 10, the Chinese government officially launched the Healthy China initiative, which will carry out 15 major special actions in three aspects: intervention of health influencing factors, maintenance of life cycle health, as well as prevention and control of major diseases. Health promotion in primary and secondary schools is a critical and fundamental action among the 15 major actions. Healthy China initiative has attracted wide attention from the public and the media as soon as the announcement. Director Wang Dengfeng introduced the background and promotion measures of health promotion in primary and secondary schools at the meeting.

    Last July, the National Assessment Center for Elementary Education Quality of MoE released China's first compulsory education quality monitoring report. According to the report, 36.5 percent of fourth-grade students and 65.3 percent of eighth-grade students in China were found to have poor eyesight. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out that the prevention and control of myopia among teenagers are urgent, and urged relevant departments to deepen education reform, come up with effective and comprehensive prevention and control plan, and jointly take care for the eyes of children so that they will have a bright future. In 2018, the Ministry of Education, together with eight national ministries and commissions, issued the Implementation Plan for Comprehensive Prevention and Control of Myopia in Children and Adolescents, elevating the prevention and control of myopia among children and adolescents to a national strategy.

    Since the promulgation of the Implementation Plan for Comprehensive Prevention and Control of Myopia in Children and Adolescents last year, what new changes have been presented in the prevention and control of myopia in children and adolescents in China? At the press conference, Lu fan said, first, the prevention and control strategy of myopia lodged itself in the public mind. Through the coordination of the government, schools, families, medical institutions and students, the national strategy and measures for the prevention and control of myopia among teenagers are penetrating all aspects in a very effective way. Second, measures related to education and teaching have been passed on to each other, such as increasing outdoor activities and reducing academic burden. Many schools have started to take actions. Third, the foundation for the prevention and control of myopia has been strengthened. Various localities have conducted myopia detection in primary and secondary schools through spot checks or general surveys, forming the "background data" of the occurrence of myopia in children and adolescents. This data is very significant. Lu fan stressed that it is an important basis to evaluate whether the prevention and control work is effective, and also an important scientific index to study the occurrence and development of myopia. This job seems simple but it is very difficult. Without government support and multi-sectoral cooperation, it is hard to complete this step, given that there are 270 million students in China. For example, the Wenzhou Municipal Committee and Municipal Government take "Bright Eyes and White Teeth Project", a project on the prevention and control of myopia, as the initial project of doing practical things for the people. Multiple departments and WMU worked together to complete myopia census of 1.06 million primary and middle school students in the whole city in a brief period, providing reference experience for national myopia prevention and control work.
            Prevention and control of myopia in children and adolescent is a work requiring long-term persistence. Lu Fan said professionals should take science popularization as a key, make the eye health and myopia scientific research accepted by parents and children easily, and put scientific idea of eye health and myopia prevention and control into practice.
     The ophthalmology and optometry team of Wenzhou Medical University which is the Engineering Research Center for Prevention, Control and Treatment of Myopia of the Ministry of Education and the Center for Prevention and Control of Myopia in children and adolescents in Zhejiang Province, has taken a series of "actions" since last year: They held the expert seminar on myopia prevention and control system for children and adolescents; organized a team to work with the Ministry of Education to formulate and compile the Assessment Scheme for the Prevention and Control of Myopia in Children and Adolescents and the Interpretation of Comprehensive Prevention and Control of Myopia in Children and Adolescents, etc.; organized and held the Chinese ophthalmology association optometry group "Myopia Prevention and Control" Forum, formulated and issued the "Children and Adolescents Myopia Screening Work Process" and other two consensus. Under the guidance of the Ministry of Education, the team has taken the lead in providing correct, professional and systematic knowledge of prevention and control of myopia for primary and secondary school students and the public.

            Prof. Chen Peijie's research team developed the physical fitness index of children and adolescents to evaluate the physical health development of adolescents in China and found that overall positive. The role of schools in promoting physical fitness of children and adolescents is becoming more and more obvious. The awareness of physical fitness and the level of physical fitness of children and adolescents have steadily improved. However, Chen pointed out at the press conference that although the physical health problems of Chinese teenagers have improved somewhat, they are still serious as a whole. First, although the morphological development level of Chinese teenagers is increasing, the problems of overweight and obesity are becoming more and more serious. Second, the overall health level of teenagers is improving, but the phenomenon of "Declining with Age" has not changed. According to the 2017 survey, 92.1 percent of primary school students, 88.0 percent of middle school students and 74.4 percent of college students met the standards for physical health. Third, students' physical health level varies from the national scope, and the imbalance of physical health development is still prominent. Problems such as students' eyesight need urgent attention.
            Improving the physical health of adolescents is an important manifestation of the achievements of Healthy China initiative. It is also an important guarantee to maintain Healthy China at a high target level. In this regard, Chen Peijie suggested: first, we should pay more attention to the development of school sports activities and continuously deepen the reform of school sports. We should change the activities from "Sports Activities" to "Effective Sports Activities", and improve the proportion of "medium-high intensity" activities in school sports activities. Second, we should strengthen the construction of community sports, so that the health benefits gained by teenagers in school sports can be extended. Third, parents need to change the concept of children's growth and success and realize the harm of sedentary behavior to children's health.