Activities Carried Out During School Health Programs In Kenya

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One of the many objectives of the ministry of education in Kenya is to ensure that pupils in primary school and students in secondary school in Kenya are in healthy conditions while school. They do this in collaboration with the ministry of health in Kenya through the health care providers such as nurses, doctors, clinical officers and public health officers working in Kenya. These activities are carried out during the school health programme whereby the health care providers seek permission from the school management team first before going to any school. The activities provided include;

1. Physical Examination.

The objective of carrying out a physical examination is to recognise the signs of common ailments treat the minor ones and refer those which require specialised attention. This examination should be done systematically from head to toe for every child. A cumulative record of a child’s history, medical examination and immunisations should be kept for each child.

·         Head- Tinea capitis(ring worms), hair colour, texture, cleanliness and lice.

·         Eyes- Visual acuity, Colour of conjunctiva, Discharge, Pallor would indicate anaemia, Yellow discolouration would indicate jaundice, and Redness would indicate conjunctivitis such as trachoma. Check for ulceration and softness, which would indicate signs of keratomalacia (vitamin A deficiency). To determine the eye sight. A Snellen eye chart is used to check left and right eyes.

·         Nose- Check for, nasal discharge, deviated septum and polyps.

·         Ear- Ear discharge or pain, tinnitus and impacted wax.

·         Mouth- Cleanliness or oral hygiene, smooth appearance, swollen beefy red sores and atrophic papillae.  

·         Teeth and Gums- Dental cavities, mal-positioned, molted appearance (fluorosis), bleeding and cleanliness.

·         Neck- Enlarged cervical glands distended jugular veins and enlarged thyroid gland.

·         Arms- Absence or presence of B.C.G scar, Weak and tender or swollen arms and presence of oedema.

·         Hands- Cleanliness.

·         Nails- If short and clean. Colour: Pallor indicates signs of anaemia.

·         Shape: Spoon shape indicates iron deficiency anaemia.

·         Skin- Rashes, cuts, scabies, lack of fat under the skin. Rough and dry swollen.

·         Body- Tinea corporis, cleanliness and signs of malnutrition.

·         Legs- Orthopaedic problems, jiggers, injuries, deformities, bowed and knock knees.

·         Clothing- Cleanliness.

·         Height and Weight- Screening the children for height and weight to assess their development.

2.Referral Services in Kenya.

This service is given to children who have ailments needing care outside the school. They are referred to the nearest health facility or hospital, depending on the nature of illness and if it requires to be seen by a specialist.

3.Inspection of the School Environment in Kenya.

Since the children spend a lot of the time in school, it is important to ensure that their environment is safe and clean.

4. Location of the School.

They ensure that surroundings of the school are clean, free from noise pollution, away from industrial and other waste or swampy area.

5.Sanitation in schools in Kenya.  

The school should have a good water supply, clean and enough latrines, and solid waste disposal systems. There should be separate toilets for female and male students. The environment should be clean and well maintained.

6.Playground.

It should be dry with no potholes or stones to prevent accidents.

7.Classroom.

This should be clean, well ventilated with adequate lighting. It should not be overcrowded and students should be able to hear the teacher and see the black board from where they sit.

8.Furniture.

The seats should be simple and not attached to each other so that the pupils can move them. The children’s feet should be able to touch the floor when they are seated.

9.Promotion of Proper Nutrition.

This consists of the importance of eating a balanced diet and good feeding habits, if there is a feeding programme. They also observe the methods of cooking and storage of food, personal hygiene of food handlers and children, cleanliness of the utensils, cleanliness of the kitchen and screening of the food handlers

10.Sharing Health Messages in Kenya.

They usually identify and plan to share the appropriate health messages with the school population. The health messages shared include prevention of common health problems, such as, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, skin conditions amongst others.  

11.Promotion of Personal Hygiene.

This is done by advising the children in Kenya to do the following: Taking a daily bath, Brushing teeth after meals, Washing of hands before eating and after visiting the toilet, Keeping the hair and nails short and clean, and Wearing clean clothes.

12.Record Keeping.

The health care providers in Kenya value the important to record every health activity that they undertake. This applies to school health service activities. These records are used for evaluation.The records should reflect the number of schools covered, the number of pupils treated and types of ailments, the number of pupils referred, activities carried out, health messages shared, information on the environmental health and effectiveness of the school health services.

Sometimes these activities are carried by institutions that are training medical students in Kenya. For instance, Masinde Muliro University, Moi University and University of Nairobi are among the institutions that take their students to rural health experience where they are also involved in school health programme and provision of health care in the communities in Kenya.

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