Integrating Health Protection and School Health Programme for Effective Emergencies Preparedness and Responses in Nigerian Education Sector
Keywords:Health protection, Emergency preparedness, Resilience and response, School health programme, Healthy school environment
Health protection and school health programme (SHP) are core areas of public health. Amidst the current challenges facing the Nigerian education sector, especially the primary and secondary education systems, the need to take proactive, evidence-based measures to enhance the quality of a healthy school environment, promotion of child-friendly school environment, quality of teaching and learning, healthy development, the safety of students and school personnel becomes expedient. The paper accentuates the need to integrate health protection and school health programmes for effective emergency preparedness and responses in Nigerian schools. Health protection components of communicable disease control, resilience, and response, environmental public health and emergency preparedness should be integrated with the components of school health programme such as school health services, health education and promotion, healthy school environment and mental health. To achieve the seamless integration of health protection into the SHP for positive outcomes, the authors recommended continuous professional development of health and physical education teachers, school health personnel, school administrators, and education policy and program developers in Nigeria. The authors further recommended a multisectoral approach, adequate resource mobilization/allocation (funds, human resources, and technical assistance) for effective integration to yield expected outcomes, and a review of the National School Health Policy to meet the current health needs of students/pupils in Nigeria.