ethiopia meeting Aug 2016.jpgRepresentatives of Ethiopia's Ministry of Education have called for the need to integrate the implementation of school health programmes to improve the health and education of children.

This was one of the key recommendations of a National School Health Workshop  held at the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Education on 30-31st August 2016. The meeting brought together government and development partners to discuss how school health services can be implemented in an integrated and inclusive manner.

Addressing delegates, Eshetu Asfaw, Planning, Monitoring and Resources Mobilization Director with the Ministry of Education said, ​​​​"Unified efforts are needed for the success of school health programmes.​"

The Director noted that ways should be found to address the immediate health needs of Ethiopian school children and to improve their health and educational performance. "Strengthening cooperati​on in health intervention, including deworming and vision screening, can have a large impact on reducing school absenteeism and dropouts and increasing student performance in learning."​

Eshetu added, "Even though Ethiopia has gained some achievements in School Health and Nutrition (SHN), there are still critical gaps and the road to fully integrated, coordinated SHN intervention is very long. " 

​"Ethiopia's incorporation of a SHM programme into its education sector shows the commitment the country has for the initiative.​"​

​Elodie Yard, PCD

Elodie Yard​, Programmes Manager for East Africa with Imperial College London's Partnership for Child Development (PCD),  who are are providing technical assistance to the Government, said, "Ethiopia is in the right track to ensure coordination between education and health."​

"Ethiopia should further improve the health and nutritional status of school-age children that will contribute for their attendance and performance in school. "

National School Health Integrated Programming​ is the initiative of World Bank, Imperial College London's Partnership for Child Development (PCD) and Sightsavers to streamline school health and nutrition into Ethiopia's education sector plan.

​The initiative is supported and funded by the Global Partnership for Education, which supports more than 60 low and middle income countries to ensure that every child receives quality basic education, prioritizing the poorest and most marginalized.

​​​Article adapted from Ethiopian News Agency​​​

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