The Health Ministry has decided to make it compulsory for all schoolchildren to be checked for fitness before taking part in any sports activity in future, Director General, Health Services, Dr. Palitha Mahipala said.

According to Dr. Mahipala, all school children will need to undergo a special medical examination before taking part in sports events in order to make sure they do not have any health problems. The Health Ministry intends to set up Sports Medical Units in all the provinces in order to implement this rule.

In addition, around 900 doctors have already been deployed countrywide covering all other state hospitals to carry out a special medical examination adhering to international standards on schoolchildren before they take part in sports events, he said.

All school principals have been informed of this procedure and related rules and regulations through a circular, and will have to ensure its implementation. Sports activities help school children safeguard themselves from rapidly increasing non-communicable diseases (NCDs).