Background: The increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has some major implications on many countries to achieve universal health coverage. This study aimed to investigate the implementation of Global School-based Student Health Survey(GSHS), which is used to assess the risk factors of NCDs among children and adolescents, by the Eastern Mediterranean Region(EMR) countries.
Methods: This study was a meta-analysis and systematic literature review of 2001-2018 published studies, which were found by searching PubMed, Google Scholar, WHO, and CDC databases. In this study, the target group was students aged between 13 and 17 years old. GSHS implementation as well as risk factors of NCDs were compared across different countries. The random-effect model for meta-analysis was considered at 95% confidence interval.
Result: In the EMR, 19 countries have implemented GSHS at least once following the survey manual (37 surveys). Overally, 201,795 young adolescents between 13 and 17 years old were included in our analysis. The overall estimation of prevalence rate of NCD risk factors among the students(13 and 15 years old), the overall estimation of the overweight prevalence rate was 24.5% (20.6-28.8), obesity prevalence rate was 7.3% (5.4-9.5), insufficient physical activity prevalence rate was 82.4% (80.7-84.1), tobacco usage prevalence rate was 14.3% (10.53-18.67), and smoking prevalence was rate 9.6% (8.1-11.3). In those aged from 13 to 17 years old, these rates were estimated as 19.8 (13.2-27.3), 9.7 (6.2-14.0), 86.1 (84.1-87.9), 17.8 (11.8-24.7), and 11.5 (9.4-13.8), respectively.
Conclusion: GSHS has been widely implemented across EMR countries. Using nationally representative data, the results show that more efforts are needed to target the NCDs risk factors among adolescents in the region.