School health programme (SHP) refers to all health activities carried out to mobilise and strengthen health promotion, health education and health prevention and restorative services within the school community. It is aimed to improve the health of students, school personnel, families and other members of the community. The components of a typical SHP are the following:
- School Health Policy
- Healthy School Environment (Child Friendly School)
- School Health Services
- School Health Instruction including skills-based education
- Intersectoral Participation
SHP is one of the most efficient strategies that a nation can use to prevent major health and social problems. Next to the family, schools can serve as vehicles for imparting relevant health-related instructions, life skills and experiences that can prepare young people for their roles as healthy, productive and responsible adults.
The school provides a unique opportunity for health education, promotion and prevention, and is a means of establishing a firm foundation for the healthy habits of the future adult population of any nation. School health activities not only support the sustainable development goals for health (SDG 3) and education (SDG 4), but also SDG 2 (reducing hunger), SDG 5 (gender equality) and SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation).
In collaboration with the selected the Parents Teachers Association, Lagos State (Nigeria) Ministries of Education and with active financial support from Mixta Africa and technical support from Amara Medicare and Society for Family Health, we launched a CeSAHA School Health Programme in Lakowe Community, Lagos Nigeria in 2021.
The goal of the initiative tagged “The Healthy Learning” was to create and nurture a supportive school environment that is critical to promoting and maintaining the health of all students, their staff and parents and even the wider community through a well-designed and professionally delivered school health intervention programme.