Keeping students healthy so they can learn
Global health programs often overlook children older than five, yet kids still get sick after they turn six. At Healthy Learners, we overcome this gap by connecting the health and education sectors to improve the health of school-aged children. We train teachers as community health workers to monitor and respond to the health needs of students as well as help to provide preventative care and health education. We are working with the Zambian government to scale our model
School-aged children in low and middle-income countries remain highly exposed to a number of illnesses, including malaria, respiratory infections, worm infestation and diarrheal diseases. These conditions negatively impact their development and result in school absenteeism and poor academic performance.
Our integrated school health model targets this vulnerable population with high impact interventions in a convenient location - their schools, whose personnel can monitor them daily and are more likely to engender the trust of children and their families—their teachers.
Using schools to improve children's health
Using data to amplify impact
We use data to guide our programs, better support our partner schools and health facilities, and to measure our impact. Data collected daily by our trained teachers enables us to monitor and rapidly respond to disease trends across schools and communities. An external evaluation of our model by the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health published in May of 2019 found our model led to the following results
Increase in student health knowledge
Increase in Vitamin A and Deworming Coverage
Reduction in student morbidity
Reduction in the odds of stunting
Moving Towards Scale
Having spent the past five years developing, evaluating and refining our model across 77 schools serving 90,000 students, we are now working with the Zambian Ministries of Health and Education to scale the model into a national school health program. Our ultimate goal is for Zambia to serve as a model for how governments can improve student health