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Why should we promote health in schools?


Miguel Q. Ibero Jr., MAEd
Busay Elementary School

The school through the teachers should observe and look into the health status and development of children. Research shows that major causes of death, disease and disability can be significantly reduced by targeting just a handful of risk factors, many of which are preventable. These risk factors can be addressed by developing healthy behaviour early in life. It is particularly important to educate children about: Personal hygiene, clean environment, food and water safety, proper nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, physical activity, and saying NO to tobacco, drugs and alcohol.

Children must develop healthy habits while they are young. The best way to cure diseases is to prevent them. When children are healthy, they have a greater capacity to learn and achieve their full potentials. With good education, they can aim for a better quality of life, and better health, overall.

The school is one of the best places where health education and health promotion can take place. Children spend a great deal of time in this setting. They enter school open to learning new things. They have teachers as guides and role models. Schools are clean and safe environments where each child is encouraged to develop vital life skills. A health promoting school is one that constantly strengthens its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working. An effective school health programme can be one of the most cost effective investments a nation can make to simultaneously improve education and health.

A health promoting school is a place where all members of the school community work together to provide students with integrated and positive experiences and structures which promote and protect their health. These include: formal and informal curricula in health, creation of a safe and healthy school environment, provision of appropriate health services and involvement of the family and widen community in efforts to promote health.

The school should strive to provide a healthy environment, school health education, and school health services along with school/ community projects and outreach, nutrition and food safety programmes, opportunities for physical education and recreation and programmes for counselling, social support and mental health promotion. And engages health and education officials, teachers, teachers’ organization, students, parents, health providers and community leaders in efforts to make the school a healthy place.

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