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Skip Navigation LinksHome News First Francophone Course Opens in Senegal

First Francophone Course Opens in Senegal

Organised by the Partnership for Child Development, Institute of Health and Development and the University of Dakar the first Francophone School Health and Nutrition (SHN) was opened in Senegal on Monday. The course will host government representatives from 13 African Francophone countries, who for 10 days will focus on supporting effective SHN intervention delivery.

Francophone course participants.jpgOpening the ceremony, Professor Anta Tal Dia, Director of the Institute of Health and Development, addressed participants, “The consensus is unanimous, it is essential to ensure good school health and nutrition if we want to see high educational achievement.”

Bringing the Course to Francophone Africa 
 For ten days the course will see the exchange of best practices, knowledge and experience in SHN practice between countries and across sectors of participants representing the Economic Community of West African States in addition to Madagascar and Comoros, the United Nations and civil society.

The course has previously been held nine times in Anglophone countries and this year it takes place for the first time in a French speaking country in response to the demands of Francophone countries in the region.

Course Structure

Participants will take part in practical planning workshops, hear lectures from experts in their field and visit local schools where the Senegalese context will be emphasised. Topics covered on the course are to include: Malaria, Safe School Environment, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Girls Education, Teacher Training for HIV Prevention and Life Skills Based Education, Neglected Tropical Diseases and School Feeding.

Professor Malick Sembene, Director of School Health and Nutrition, Ministry of Health, Senegal also spoke at the ceremony adding that international collaboration for school health initiatives are nothing new; in the late 1980s researchers around the world initiated studies to assess health intervention effectiveness particularly in the field of nutritional deficiencies and treatment of intestinal worms.

Professor Sembene stressed that although important progress has been made in SHN delivery, there is still much to improve, saying, “taking charge of school health requires all layers of society and the school remains one of the privileged places where the fight must begin to create responsible citizen of tomorrow”.