SChool Health

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IHS School Health Services are aimed at early detection, correction and prevention of deformities and disabilities during the growing years besides inculcating a healthy life style at an early age. The basic objectives of School Health Services are:

  1. Promotion of positive health.
  2. Prevention of diseases especially communicable & vaccine preventable.
  3. Early diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of illnesses.
  4. Awakening health consciousness in children (Through the 'Child to Child' approach & capacity building of teachers and school staff) and
  5. Provision of a healthy environment.

School Health Service has been a prime area of activity of IHS since 1997. Initially, due to lack of awareness, it was difficult to make the school administrators appreciate the need to adopt a school health system. We had to work hard to make the educationists understand the importance of school health services in the overall mental & physical development of a child. Although in Pakistan school health has been a part of the government health infrastructure since 1952 but practically on ground it is still non-existent. With the grace of Allah and our commitment along with a non-commercial and professional approach now after almost 20 years in school health IHS is the largest operator of school health in the country and is providing various types of health services to the educational institutions across Pakistan catering to the needs of schools ranging from high-end English medium private schools to public sector and even shelter-less schools in small towns & villages. In the private sector school health has been more successful In Islamabad & Karachi than other cities. IHS has developed a comprehensive eight component model of school health that encompasses all basic health and developmental requirements of a child. Some schools select few of the components as per their needs, while others like Islamabad Convent School (H-8 & F-8 Campuses), City School (Margalla Campus) & Sheikh Zayed International School, H-8, in Islamabad & St. Mary’s Academy, Lalazar, St. Francis School, Rawalpindi, St. Mary’s Peshawar &Viqar-un-Nisa Girls College, Rawalpindi have full fledge (Extended) School Health Services including in-school clinics staffed with lady doctors & female nurses.

During the last 21 years, approx. 1.65 million school children have remained enrolled with IHS School Health. The data obtained through periodic examinations and sick reports is being evaluated in order to develop effective interventions to prevent and correct diseases at an early stage. This data and the feedback that we have been receiving helped us in making and tailoring the health education material for students and teachers in a most effective manner besides developing interventions that can be more cost effective and sustainable.
IHS has developed manuals for capacity building in school health of various stakeholders including teachers and medical professionals and our staff has been conducting these trainings in many schools both in the public and private sector. Manuals are available both in Urdu and English.
As the implementing consultant of Save the Children (UK), IHS executed a comprehensive school health initiative in Bagh and Muzafarabad districts of AJK. This project was a pilot intervention in two union councils (Bagh & Langarpura) only. IHS after developing a viable school health system transferred it to the public sector health facilities of the area.
The IHS school health program for these areas had three basic components: including School health capacity building of teachers and health professionals in the public sector institutions, Health screening of all school going children and networking of health facilities for referral and follow up of school health services on long term and self-sustainable basis.
In 1998 IHS conducted a study on the incidence of worm infestation among school going children in district Attock. 53% of the children tested were found positive for worms. De-worming of 93% children of the area was later carried out by IHS.