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Kenya, 22 July 2015: UNICEF partners with World Vision to promote school health

22 July 2015, NAIROBI, Kenya – Good health and quality education go hand in hand. A well-nourished and healthy child learns better and is more productive in school. Good health and proper nutrition are prerequisites for effective learning.

UNICEF Kenya has partnered with the Government of Kenya, through the Ministries of Education and Health, and World Vision Kenya to conduct a physical school health check-up in 100 schools across the country. The physical school health check-up will assess the health and nutrition status of primary and Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) children in the target schools.

This exercise is informed by the knowledge that many school age children in Kenya are exposed to many psychological and physiological threats that jeopardize their health and safety in school. Poor nutrition, malaria, waterborne diseases, parasitic infestations (worms are a major cause of undernutrition in school-going children), diarrhoea, cholera, dehydration and HIV and AIDS are just some of the risks children face in school.

UNICEF, with funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), seeks to ensure that the most vulnerable children are able to access quality education in a healthy child-friendly environment. This pilot project will cost KES. 9,369,000.

UNICEF Kenya Chief of Education Daniel Baheta says, “The effects of poor health and nutrition on children’s learning cannot be underestimated. With improved health and nutrition, children have fewer absences, are better able to learn and are therefore, more likely to complete school.Strengthening school health systems during the formative and early years of learning is highly recommended.

This partnership is targeting to reach 25,000 children in eight Arid and Semi-Arid (ASAL) counties of Garissa, Isiolo, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana and Wajir. Many children from these marginalized regions suffer varying but significant degrees of ill health, nutritional deficiencies and morbidity.

World Vision Kenya’s Operations Director, Daniel Mwebi, says, “The School Health Assessment Team has formed linkages with the community where children identified with health issues are referred and closely monitored by the Community Health Workers and the Ministry of Health staff at the various health centres within the community.

To kick off the project, 8 vehicles which will be used to reach the more remote parts of the counties, were flagged off from the World Vision Kenya offices. A total of 21 vehicles have been provided for the exercise. The Physical Health Check-up will be carried out by Teachers (School Level Support), Health Workers (Technical Support) and Community Health Workers (Linkage between School and households) over a period of one week starting 6th July - 10th July, 2015.
 

For more information please contact:

Edita Nsubuga, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Kenya
Tel: +254 20 762 2977, Cell: + 254 708 989221, Email: ensubuga@unicef.org

Daisy Serem-Esinapwaka, Communication Officer, UNICEF Kenya
Tel: +254 20 762 2151, Cell: +254 738 057030, Email: dserem@unicef.org

 

 
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