Uganda today has the highest population of young people in the world with 78% Uganda’s population aged 35years and below, most of these are in school as education is a vital and critical to Uganda’s development both as a human right and principal element for human capital development. With over 58% of the youths in school, we must fight to ensure that schools are nurturing healthy individuals.
Based on the grounds that there should be standardized health and access to health services in schools, Reproductive Health Uganda is pushing forward the passing of the 2014 validated School Health Policy under the theme; ‘Quality Health service standards for a healthy school living for all young people’.
The policy recognizes the roles of all stakeholders in promoting a health environment for learning, teaching and living, therefore it doesn’t only involve students and the aspect of teaching but also involves teachers, nurses, parents and all other staff in a school. Aspects of the policy involve Physical Education, sexuality Education, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health and Safe School Environment, Nutrition and Food Availability, Counseling, Psychological and Social Services among others.
“The policy is based on other health promotion policies and should be applied in conjunction with the available specific policies such as the National Heath Policy, Youth Policy, Adolescent Reproductive Health Policy, Water Policy, Sanitation Guidelines, School Health Minimum Requirements, Nutrition Policy and Anaemia Policy among others.” – School Health Policy(2014)
Owing to the fact that adolescents have unique and mostly compulsory health challenges, the School Health policy looks to unify health challenges by providing specialized health resources to schools so as to enable students lead a comfortable an health life throughout school. This is expected to help students improve their performance in class, and in healthy activities by ensuring that students are not sent home in case of minor health ailments thus enabling students to stay at school longer.
I commit to talking about the National School Health Policy!!!
On 24th March, Reproductive Health Uganda organized an advocacy march and a press conference for the tabling and passing of the dormant National School Health Policy. The advocacy march started from their Kamwokya based offices through Wandegeya and it also involved flash mobs and a great marching band filled with the old, youths, and students alike. The event was also taken online for discussion and engagement under #UgSchoolHealthPolicy. The School Health Policy is a necessity in Uganda if we are to realize a healthy population, and this trickles down to future generations as well.