Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MOPSE) yesterday launched the school health policy which is set to safeguard the health of learners and teachers in the school environment.
Speaking at the launch, MoPSE Minister Professor Paul Mavima said they had been working on this policy with the Health Minister for a long time and the policy will deliver health promotion for the benefit of teachers serving learners.
“My colleague Minister and I have been working together on a number of health initiatives in schools and recognize the opportunity provided by the Zimbabwe School Health Policy in further entrenching good practices in this regard,
“Apart from providing health services to learners, this policy also ensures the delivery of health promotion for the benefit of teachers and other staff members serving our learners. This is really important as the welfare of our teacher cannot be overlooked to ensure that quality education is achieved,” said Mavhima.
He added that in practical terms they will be investing more in school infrastructure ensuring that there are clean safe and reliable water sources, sanitation and hygiene facilities that are age appropriate, gender and disability friendly.
Health and Child Care Minister, Dr David Pairenyatwa said the concept of school health has evolved for a long time and indeed for time immemorial.
He added that ill health in schools has been characterized by incidences and prevalence of communicable diseases.
“Ill health in schools has been characterized by increasing incidence and prevalence of communicable diseases like HIV infection, tuberculosis, including neglected tropical diseases.
“Non-communicable diseases including diabetes mellitus, injuries, psychological conditions and malnutrition are among the conditions affecting the school going age. Ill health affects the education potential thereby influencing the pass and completion rates of our children,” said Parirenyatwa.
He added that a comprehensive school health programme denotes a set of policies, procedures and activities designed to protect, promote and support the health and welfare of pupils and staff which have traditionally included the provision of health services.
The Ministry of Health is committed to supporting the implementation of a comprehensive school health programme and are calling upon families, communities and stakeholders to support it.