KEETMANSHOOP, 13 JUL – The Integrated School Health Programme (ISHP) and its task force for the //Kharas Region were officially launched here on Thursday.
The ISHP is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) and the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC) aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of both health and education at schools.
The MoHSS and MoEAC signed a memorandum of understanding on the 18th of April 2016, with the purpose to create a sustainable foundation for the best possible inter-ministerial cooperation and mutual assistance to ensure the holistic well-being, health and academic performance of school-going learners.
In a statement read on her behalf, //Kharas Region governor Lucia Basson said for the ISHP to be effectively implemented, it will require the establishment of operational mechanisms that ensure effective sharing of information and resources, collaboration and mutual support among initiatives and stakeholders involved.
“This programme strives for improved access to quality sexuality education and reproductive health services for all young people,” she said.
Basson said the regional task force has to develop an annual plan which will be reviewed frequently.
“The annual plan should be comprehensive and focus on comprehensive sexuality education, learner pregnancy prevention, and conducive physical facilities and environmental health as well as screening and physical examination of learners,” she urged.
The Governor also instructed all schools in the region to implement ISPH activities.
“School boards and management should ensure that their annual plan includes school health activities. They should also allow health and education officials to conduct school health activities for learners in the school,” she said.
The established ISPH task force consists of about 47 members representing different line ministries, non-governmental organizations, civil societies, youth forums, institutions of high learning and traditional authorities in the //Kharas Region.
The task force will be running surveys within schools all over the region in order to find the problems or challenges faced by learners at school and find solutions to those problems and challenges.
Task force went under a three days training conducted by officials from the MoEAC.