In Bokoro, the hospital comes to school
"I appreciate that health workers can come see us in school. We don’t have to go to the hospital, and the treatments are free" Sakina Issa, 17 years old, Bokoro middle school.
On a Friday morning, students are lining up in the Arabic-speaking and French-speaking Collège d'Enseignement Général of Bokoro in Hadjer Lamis province in central Chad. They are waiting for medical consultations. Two health workers from of the Bokoro Urban Health Centre have set up a table under a tree.
The pupils, who have been informed a few days before by their teachers, are welcomed by the nurse, Félicité Ronel, who facilitates the first contacts. Then the consultation begins with the head of the Bokoro Urban Health Centre: "I invite pupils who feel unwell to come for the consultation. I take the student's parameters, i.e. temperature, blood pressure, weight and I do a clinical examination. I ask a few questions which are completed when necessary by quick tests such as malaria." Abdel Aziz Djamarama explains.
15-year-old Mahadji Ali’s malaria test is positive. He is given a presciptrion and medication, a swell as advice from the nurse "The best way to fight malaria is to avoid being bitten by sleeping under a mosquito net". Ali is happy to tell us: "This is the first time I can go for a medical consultation at school. Usually, when I am sick, we go to the health centre. This saves me the trouble of travelling”.
Other students line up for the free medical consultations. Depending on their state of health, they are given specific guidelines. The team has almost finished the consultations, when Naima Makaye, a 22-year-old girl, arrives shyly. She waited for the other students to finish their consultations before coming closer. She is in her final year of secondary school, married and has a child. She manages to continue her studies. She works hard to manage to study while taking care of a baby and a house. Naima suffers from stomach pains and the nurse prescribes some additional tests. She will have to go to the hospital for an ultrasound.
This school-based medical consultation programme, funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), promotes equitable access to quality education, with a particular focus on the specific needs of girls in 70 schools in Ouaddaï and Hadjer Lamis provinces. Hygiene and health interventions help create a favorable school environment. The programme also includes the rehabilitation of classrooms, the construction of latrines and boreholes in schools. Through this programme, UNICEF ensures that the students of Hadjer Lamis and Ouaddai are educated and cared for in the best possible way.