School Health Outreach Program (SHOP)

The School Health Outreach Program (SHOP) deployed mobile health teams to schools to provide free health services to children and reached more than 7,000 vulnerable children and youth annually and another 19,000 with health education in 37 schools in the Lubombo region.

Funder

IZUMI FOUNDATION

Location

LUMBOMBO REGION, ESWATINI

Dates

2011 - 2016

Improving Performance in Schools Through Health Services

Children’s health issues are the most common cause of absenteeism in schools throughout Eswatini and they ultimately contribute to the country’s high drop-out rates. Orphans and vulnerable children have a high unmet need for health care services and poor health severely compromises their academic performance and ability to stay in school.

In response, we developed the School Health Outreach Program (SHOP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, school leadership, and parents, guardians, and local leaders in targeted communities. SHOP deployed mobile health teams to schools to provide free health services to children. SHOP activities were coordinated with the Bantwana Schools Integrated Program (BSIP) and reached more than 7,000 vulnerable children and youth annually and another 19,000 with health education in 37 schools in the Lubombo region.

Our collaborative efforts included:
  • Health screenings, which contributed to the early detection of childhood illnesses; on-the-spot treatment; and referrals for children who needed additional care, such as HIV testing and counseling and adolescent reproductive health counseling.
  • School health nurses and youth peers facilitated health education sessions about important youth issues, such as early marriage and gender roles.
  • First aid training and provision of first aid supplies, as well as training in universal HIV precautions, to help teachers in schools nationwide to immediately attend to minor health issues.

In addition to increasing access to health services for adolescents, SHOP also contributed to improved performance in school as a result of decreased absenteeism and school drop-out, as well as an increased in the ability of students to focus in the classroom and make better health decisions.

Thulani Earnshaw

Country Director

Thulani Earnshaw
+268.25.052.848
thulani_earnshaw@bantwana.org