Government yesterday launched a school health policy which seeks to improve health programmes in schools.
The programme includes immunisation. Speaking at the Zimbabwe School Health Policy launch in Harare, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima said: “I am proud to confirm that the Government of Zimbabwe fully subscribes to the global and mind-set that quality education develops the skills, values and attitudes that enable citizens to lead healthy and fulfilled lives, make informed decisions and respond to local and global challenges.
“The school health policy is a collaboration between the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and Ministry of Health and Child Care. This joint launching ceremony is in line with the legislative provision under section 64 subsection 1 of the Education Act as amended in 2006, which stipulates that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Child Care shall make regulations for the purpose of safeguarding the health of learners.”
Prof Mavima said the implementation of the policy would be rolled out within a month.
“We have already been running some programmes collaboratively between the two ministries, those programmes will continue. I instructed the team of the two ministries to give us a programme for the implementation of the policy within a month so that the coordinated programme is rolled out,” he said.
“The preparations for the school health policy have been going on for quite a while. The idea is to have a coordinated systematic approach to addressing health issues for our learners in schools.”
Prof Mavima said the two ministries were working together on a number of health initiatives in schools and recognise the opportunity provided by the Zimbabwe School Health Policy in further enhancing good practises.
Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said the launch of the policy highlighted the need to provide focused and comprehensive services for the improved health and child.
“The launch of the policy again galvanises us into a pact to provide focused and comprehensive services for the improved health of the child.
“A comprehensive school health programme denotes a set of policies, procedures and activities set to protect, promote and support the health and welfare of pupils and staff which have traditionally included the provision of health services, healthy school environment, life skills, health education and school nutrition,” he said.
Dr Parirenyatwa said there was need to move with speed to operationalise the policy through providing the necessary guidelines, tools and supportive environment it requires.