The Ministry of Education has embarked on establishing 51 health rooms in all learning institutions to be based in provincial centers with the aim of improving the health of learners and reducing absenteeism.
The 51 health rooms will be set up at a cost of K7.5 million and will be rolled out to all provincial centers before reaching the districts.
Minister of Education, Douglas Syakalima said the promotion of health rooms in schools will address health concerns of learners as it will come with immense lifelong benefits.
Mr. Syakalima said the collaborative effort in school health and Nutrition intervention is in line with the multi-sectoral approach that government is promoting in the vision of providing education for all.
Mr Syakalima said this during the official opening of one of the health rooms at Northrise combined school in Ndola.
“The program is also in accordance with government’s desire to ensure that there is improvement in quality education combined with appropriate education facilities,” he said
Mr Syakalima said the ministry has been working with an organization called ‘Healthy Learners’ in an effort of scaling up the health services delivery pillar to reach over 600 schools across Zambia by 2025.
And President of Healthy Learners Lonnie Hackett said the organization has been working with the government to implement the school health programme of setting up health rooms since 2015.
Mr. Hackett said the facilities receive fast track learners’ referrals from school providing effective and efficient care so that learners can return to classrooms.
“Schools implementing such programs have reported a reduction in absenteeism and enhanced the learning and educational outcomes of learners” he said.
Speaking on behalf of Copperbelt province Health Director Charles Mwinuna, Acting Clinical Care Specialist Morgan Mweene said the Ministry of Health has made it easier for learners to acquire health services just within the school before they are referred to a health facility.