Sustainable School Health & Nutrition Program (SSHNP)
School-based health and nutrition service in public primary schools address malnutrition, micro-nutrient deficiencies, parasitic infection, poor vision and poor hygiene practices.
IFA’s Sustainable School Health and Nutrition Program (SSHNP) was launched in 2014 as pilot project with 50 students at Sibstie Negasi public primary school in Addis Ababa with the aim of contributing to the maintenance and improvement of the health of vulnerable school children.
Schools present an opportunity to teach children healthy practices and provide an ideal platform for the promotion of health. Therefore, IFA launched a comprehensive school health and nutrition program that includes a broad spectrum of activities and services which take place in schools and their surrounding communities that enable children to enhance their health and develop to their fullest potential. Such a multipronged approach is well in-line with Ethiopia’s national school health and nutrition strategy. The SSHNP has eight components:
- Nutrition and School meals
- Psycho-social support
- Eye health care
- Health education
- Feeding and water
- Water, Sanitation and hygiene (WaSH),
- Capacity development
- Income generating activity (IGA)
Components of SSHNP work together to improve the lives of vulnerable school children directly and indirectly their families through reduced cost of feeding, improved health status of children and awareness of hygiene and sanitation through health education. The eighth component of the program, IGA, sustains the program through local demand driven service and products.
The SSHNP has four strategic objectives aimed to develop physical, mental, emotional and educational status of vulnerable school children. These objectives include:
- Improving access to school health and nutrition services of vulnerable school children and improve their health and nutritional behaviors
- Improving healthy school environment
- Prevention of diseases and enable children reach their optimum learning potential
- Increase awareness and knowledge of school health and nutrition at all levels
The objectives of school health and nutrition service is achieved through the following major strategies:
- Partnership and collaboration with the community, local government, schools, donor organizations and NGOs with similar mission.
- Prevention of disease through creating healthy school environment, awareness raising and nutritional services
- Learning from and building on our SSHNP implementation experience