A week ago the final ceremony of the KSCHP project took place in the Ololua elementary school in the county of Kajiado Nord.
In 2016 a project was developed by World Friends based on the Comprehensive School Health Programme released by the Kenyan government. The project was funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and co/financed by Albacare foundation. World friends worked in partnership with the Departments of Health and Education in Kajiado-North Sub-County and in collaboration with the counterpart JukumuLetu, a local community based organization.
The Comprehensive School Health Programme is structured around the following eight areas namely: (1)Life Skills and Values, (2)Gender issues, (3)Child Rights, Child Protection and Responsibilities,(4) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, (5)Nutrition, (6)Diseases Prevention and Control, (7)Special Needs, Disability and Rehabilitation and(8) School Infrastructure and Environmental Safety.
And due to the complexity and relevance of the topic in Kenya, a separate session was added to STDs and more specifically HIV/AIDS. The main purpose being to achieve Education for All and improve the health status of the general population.
The project will come to an end on the 31st of July 2019. During a ceremony held at Ololua primary school, one of the schools in Kajiado County used to pilot the program. This was after the Health Education Manual and Practices developed by World Friends was presented and handed over to the relevant ministries involved so that they could be incorporated in other schools in the country.
The Kenya Comprehensive School Health Program has led to raising awareness and educating children on their rights, improved school infrastructure through fencing, renovating and maintenance of class rooms and kitchens, it has also led to the spread of knowledge on disease prevention and control such as cholera by enabling access to safe drinking water, provision of hand washing points through boreholes, provision of sanitary towels to the female students, construction of lavatories and the availability of first aid kits in the five schools used to pilot the project.
This in turn has led to improved performance by the pupils through the conducive learning environment, reduced numbers in drop out cases and more students joining the various schools.
The KCSHP project manager gave an account of how successful the project has been through the various activities undertaken through statistics, ‘Data collected from the five piloting schools show that school attendance increased by 7.22%, school morbidity has reduced by 11.88% and the performance based on the KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) scores has improved by 4.4% .’
The community, representatives of the Kajiado sub-county and County, ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health were also urged to promote the schools ensuring the sustainability of the Kenya Comprehensive School Health Program projects by finding other sources of funds, such as other donors, the parents and the community to maintain the projects that can generate income and food and making services available to the public in order to sustain their nutrition projects.