What we do
We work with the Zambian Ministries of Health and Education to improve children's health through our integrated school health model.
There is a quiet crisis among school-aged children throughout the developing world. In Zambia, where we work, although 90% of children register for school, nearly a third regularly suffer from repeated illness and stunting that disrupts their learning and development.
With nearly 50% of the developing world under the age of 15, the well-being of kids today is essential for a thriving society tomorrow - and that means ensuring that children receive their right to health.
We recognized that if school-aged children aren’t accessing healthcare, then the entry point to care should move to where most children already are--their schools.
Our model leverages schools and trains teachers as a community health workers targeting school-aged children. Daily monitoring of student health by schools results in help at earlier stages of illness, while the data collected enables us to observe trends, detect outbreaks and provide public health support. The establishment of referral systems between schools and health facilities helps students access available care, while follow-up by the school on sick children after their visit to the health center improves continuum of care. And all of this is at a cost of under $3 per child to sustain.
By design, our model is embedded within government schools and health facilities and leverages existing infrastructure, human resources and systems. We work with the government to implement our model in three phases:
1) Catalyze: We set-up our model in new communities through trainings, logistical support, initial supplies and establishment of school sickbays.
2) Support: Following the initial set-up phase, we transition to a technical support role and help the district health and education offices monitor, coordinate and implement ongoing activities.
3) Institutionalize: Our ultimate aim is to institutionalize the model within the community and government. We are working with the Ministries of Health and Education to develop a national school health strategy and guidelines, which are expected to be adopted by 2020.