Ethiopia set to launch school health program in 200 pilot schools

(EBC; October 2, 2017) - Ethiopia is set to launch a school health program in 200 pilot schools in its Amhara and Tigray regional states.

Maternal, Adolescent and Youth Health Team Leader at the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, Sintayehu Abebe told EBC that a school health program with essential health services aims at producing a ‘health conscious' generation through formal and informal education and practice"

 He said the program also will help early detection of diseases through routine screening which in turn contribute to keep students in schools healthy and increase their efficiency in education.

The program incorporates 10 intervention packages including social and behavioral change communication; mental, neurological and substance use disorder; vaccination and immunization; and provision of water, sanitation and hygiene.

According  Sintayehu, management of infections and disorders; communicable diseases; sexual and reproductive health, HIV/STI prevention and control; nutrition; and school preparedness, response and recovery are also part of the intervention.

The program will also help to expand health services in an equitable manner and make schools part of the efforts towards alleviating health problems.

Noting that over 37 million people are enrolled at different school levels, Sintayehu said "the program provides a unique opportunity to reach nearly one third of the Ethiopian population through school based health interventions".

The program will be run in 200 schools in Oromia and SNNP regional states as well after six months.

He said all schools in the pilot program will be equipped with all the necessary logistics and man power.

The school health program will run until 2017 with a total budget of 502 million dollar.

Reporter:  Muluneh Gebre