Kathmandu, January 28
The government has issued the School Health and Nursing Service Programme Operating Procedure to help schoolchildren develop healthy lifestyle and, instil good health and hygiene habits in them.
The procedure recently approved by the Ministry of Health and Population was developed in accordance with the existing Health Services Act and National Health Policy. It aims to improve health condition of children by increasing their access to health and nutrition services at the school level for creating a hygienic, clean and learning-friendly environment.
The school health and nursing service programme will be applicable only in community schools.
As per the procedure, Nursing and Social Security Division at the Department of Health Services shall select the local levels to implement the programme. “The division, selected local level and schools shall enter into a trilateral agreement on the programme,” it says. After the agreement, the division provides the local level with Rs 50,000 for procurement of drugs and other medical supplies. Expenses exceeding Rs 50,000 shall be borne by the local level concerned.
The procedure stipulates a provision for one nurse in each school where the programme is implemented. A person having passed proficiency certificate level in nursing course from a recognised institution and registered with Nepal Nursing Council will be eligible for school nurse. “However, one nurse may be appointed for two or more schools of a local level taking into consideration the geographical condition and the number of students,” it says.
The school nurse shall be hired by the local level through open competition in line with the existing contract law.
The nurse so appointed will get salary equal to that of a fifth level employee of Nepal health service. The procedure envisages a five-member steering committee led by DoHS director general at the central level for effective and successful implementation of the programme. Similarly, a five-member school health coordination committee chaired by deputy chief of local level shall be formed in each local level for the management of the programme.
A school health unit headed by the principal shall provide health services to children through the nurse, while making necessary arrangements for the programme.
The nurse shall maintain personal details and health records of each student, besides updating the list thereof. “It requires the school nurse to provide a progress report to the school administration, local level and division every seven months. The school health coordination committee will carry out monitoring and evaluation of activities of the nurse,” the procedure reads.
Meanwhile, one sub-metropolitan city, four municipalities and two rural municipalities are set to launch the programme in the schools in the current fiscal, stated the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration.
A version of this article appears in print on January 29, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.