Focusing resources on effective school health
Positive experiences by WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO and the World Bank suggest that there is a core group of cost-effective components of a school health, hygiene and nutrition program, which can form the basis for intensified and joint action to make schools healthy for children. These agencies have developed a partnership for Focusing Resources on Effective School Health (FRESH). The FRESH approach was launched at the World Education Forum in Senegal, April 2000. Working together to Focus Resources for Effective School Health, the agencies call for the following four components to be made available in all schools:
- Health-related policies. School-based policies should ensure a safe and secure physical environment and a positive psyochosocial environment and should address issues such as the abuse of students, sexual harassment, school violence and bullying.
- Safe water and sanitation facilities, as first steps in creating a healthy school environment.
- Skills-based health education. This approach to health, hygiene and nutrition education focuses on the development of knowledge, attitudes, values and life skills needed to make and act on the most appropriate and positive decisions concerning health.
- School-based health and nutrition services. Schools can effectively deliver some health and nutritional services as long as the services are simple, safe and familiar, and address problems that are prevalent and recognized as important in the community
Supporting strategies for achieving the above include effective partnerships between:
- Education and health sectors
- Teachers and health workers
- Schools and community groups
- Pupils and persons responsible for school health programmes
More information about FRESH is available at http://www.schoolsandhealth.org/FRESH.htm. and http://www.freshschools.org/.
Details about the different components of FRESH can be found in "School Health at a Glance", March 2001, available on the World Bank Health-Nutrition-Population web site: www.worldbank.org/hnp. (Click "Public Health at a Glance")
Focusing Resources of Effective School Health: A FRESH Start to Enhancing HIV/AIDS Prevention
FRESH: A FRESH Start to Enhancing HIV/AIDS Prevention (french)