The Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocese in the Upper East Region in partnership with Kindermissionswerk of Germany has embarked on a year’s programme to promote the health needs of school children within the Diocese and its environs.
The project covered five Districts including the Nabdam, Bongo, Builsa North, Kassena-Nankana West Districts, Kassena-Nankana Municipal and the West Mamprusi District in the Northern Region.
Dr Joseph Ayembilla, the Human Development Coordinator of the Diocese, said the project was in three phases and was piloted through the Diocesan Health Sector between 2014 and 2015, and covered 32 schools for phase one and 50 schools for phase two, while the current phase, which is the third, covered 118 Catholic schools within the Diocese.
Dr Ayembilla who disclosed this at a Stakeholder Consultation and Dialogue Session on the Sustainability of the programme in the Region, indicated that the first phase of the project involved educational activities, health screening for pupils and food vendors at the various schools and stakeholder discussions.
“Good learning for good academic performance comes from a sound mind and a sound mind comes from a healthy body,” he said.
He said the School Health Education Policy (SHEP) developed by the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service, targeted at improving the health of school children to enhance learning and the Diocese were doing their parts to enhance the policy since the welfare of children was of great concern to them.
He said the documented policy gave approval and directions to the implementation of interventions towards improving the health and academic performance of the school child but the major deficit was the lack of resources to comprehensively implement the policy intervention package.
The Coordinator said 22 toilet facilities with urinary and changing rooms for boys and girls in 11 basic schools with hand washing facilities attached, 100 metal fabricated tippy taps to 85 basic schools and 207 out of 646 food vendors were screened for various conditions as some of the achievements.
He disclosed that 23, 001 pupils were screened in the 118 schools and 3,696 who were found to have various health conditions were referred to health facilities for treatment.
Dr Ayembilla said the total cost of the project for the 118 was valued at One Million, Two Hundred Ghana cedis.
Stakeholders at the programme