Govt drafts new school health plan

Kathmandu, September 22:

The government has formulated a National Strategy on School Health and Nutrition to ensure better learning achievement and improve health of the school children.

There is a high prevalence of anaemia with 78 per cent in pre-school children and 64 per cent in school girls of 14 years of age, 40 per cent in school children have goitre, 66 per cent school kids have helminthes infestation, 32 per cent Vitamin A deficiency and 1.2 per cent night blin dness in school children. Earlier, were no means to address the health problem of the school children.

Launching the national strategy, Tori Clawson, country director, Save the Children US, said implementation of the strategy would benefit millions of students across the country.

Joint researches conducted by the Health Ministry and Education Ministry have shown that poor health indicators have profound impact on the educational attainment of the school children.

The School health and nutrition programme will be organised with the implementation of National School Health and Nutrition Strategy, Nepal. The programme can be the effective and easiest way to improve students’ health and academic performance, said Sarada Pandey, chief of Nutrition Section, DoHS.

Until now children under five years of age were targeted but children of 5-15 years been facing various health problems. The four objective of the strategy are to improve use of school health nutrition services by school children, improve healthy school environment, improve health and nutrition behaviours and habits and improve and strengthen community support system and policy environment Dr Yasovardan Pradhan, director of Child Health Division, Department of Health Division, said the policy for school health is also going to be launched.

“Some of the components of the strategy have already been in practice such as school immunisation programme,” said Dr Pradhan.

Harka Bahadur Shrestha, under secretary of Education ministry said the ministry would strictly monitor the health programmes.