32 percent of Jordanian children suffer from anemia

Hadeel Ghabboun

Mai Sultan, director of childhood at the National Council on Family Affairs, found that about 84.6% of Jordanian children, within the age group of 5 to 9 years, were subjected to “abusive discipline”, compared to 79.8% for the same age group. group 5 years and under, while the prevalence of anemia in children was 32%, while the percentage of working children in the age group 5-11 years was 16.4%.

During the National Conference on Early Childhood, which opened yesterday under the name “Reality and Possibilities”, organized by the Council, Sultan said that almost a fifth of the country’s population consists of children in the age group of 0-9 years, with a rate of 2.6 million in in 2021, amidst the constant presence of threats at the level of maternal and child mortality, recording high rates of violent disciplining of children in different age groups.

In an analysis of the reality of childhood in Jordan, it was found that 1.45 million children under the age of five do not receive care services in Jordan, of which 37% live in the capital Amman.

At the conference, the most prominent gaps in the response to the problems of the education, health and child protection systems were discussed, and a package of methodological recommendations was presented to improve the institutional efficiency of educators, in accordance with the latest trends, including the vision of modernizing the economy.

The participants of the conference looked at the challenges of the reality of early childhood in the Kingdom and protection systems, the increasing number of cases of violence against children through electronic means, deficiencies in health and educational services, deaths and injuries in traffic accidents.

The Minister of Education and the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the sponsor of the conference, Dr. Ali Muhafaza, in his speech emphasized the importance of the national strategy for the development of human resources, which devoted a special focus to early education, in addition to what was stated in the strategic plan of the Ministry of Education, and which is included in the vision of economic modernization in the light of the road map, which the Kingdom will witness in the next ten years.

He pointed out that the Ministry, within the framework of its policies and guidelines in the area of ​​support and development of kindergartens, tried to achieve tangible steps that contribute to human development, explaining that the interest in childhood is also a translation of royal visions, and the interest of Their Majesty King Abdullah II and Her Majesty the Queen Formerly Al Abdullah for the care and concern of childhood as a key pillar to achieve sustainable human development.

The conference was organized in cooperation with Plan International, the Royal Health Awareness Society and other members of the National Early Childhood Development Team representing national governmental, non-governmental and international organizations dealing with childhood issues.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the National Council for Family Affairs, Dr. Muhammad Miqdadi, said that the vision of economic modernization attaches great importance to the childhood and early childhood sectors, and proposed many initiatives to develop appropriate curricula for early childhood learning and also has called for the establishment of a single council for the sector, along with the launch of a dedicated database at this stage to reach all children in the Kingdom at the early childhood stage and launch health services for them.

He emphasized that the National Service for Family Affairs, in accordance with this vision and in translation of the directives of Queen Rania Al Abdullah, the president of the Council’s Board of Directors, attaches great importance to childhood issues, indicating that the establishment of the Council came as a continuation of the strategy of early child development that was launched in 2001.

Miqdadi indicated that, based on the role of the National Council for Family Affairs, in coordination and networking with national institutions and international organizations dealing with family issues; In 2018, in cooperation with Plan International, a national team for early child development was formed, which indicates that the team has approximately 36 institutions dealing with childhood in its membership, and also represents a platform for national dialogue on topics of this category, especially in the fields of education and health, which is confirmed by the Law on the Rights of the Child no. (17) from 2022.

According to Miqdadi, the law represents a national achievement for investment in this category. According to the law, in the next ten years, children up to the age of 18 will be included in the free health insurance system.

He also emphasized that the law was introduced to emphasize the importance of investing in education. especially the kindergarten stage; Increase enrollment rates at this stage; How is the enrollment rate in the first degree (5.4%) and in the second (63%) for the academic years 2020-2021.

For her part, the Director General of the Royal Society for Health Awareness, Dr. Amal Arefej, praised the role of the National Early Childhood Development Team in working to unify and synergize efforts in developing plans and programs for the early childhood sector, as well as achieving comprehensive health care . To ensure a better future for children.

For her part, the director of Plan International/Jordan office, Hamida Jehama, confirmed that the conference on early childhood comes in its first session as a culmination of national efforts invested in the early childhood development sector, indicating that the aim of the event was to identify the most important challenges facing the sector. early childhood faces at the national and regional level to approach and unite national efforts; Compliance with national and international standards regarding this aspect.

She added that the Foundation always strives, in cooperation with all partners who are members of the National Team for Early Development of Children, to give this stage great space and significance in its work. Protect children’s rights and promote positive parenting skills.
The conference included several sessions and discussions in the fields of education, health and protection, which continue today.

In the discussions, it was concluded that in the next five years it is necessary to focus on prevention strategy and legislation in early child protection, at a time when many institutions are witnessing gaps in the application of policies related to strengthening the protection system.

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One third of children in Jordan suffer from anemia

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