One nurse in every school
Jun 16, 2017-
School represents the second most influential environment in a child’s life after their home. Therefore, schools should ensure food protection, sanitation, safe water supply, healthy air quality, safe playgrounds, emergency response and psychological counselling for the proper growth of children. In rural areas, schools are yet to fulfil many of these conditions; and even in urban areas, the picture is not much different. Nepal is among 20 countries in the world with the highest number of stunted children. Stunting refers to inadequate growth in children due to poor nutrition.
Nutrition and psychological support appears to be scarce in school. We can’t find any normal or special psychological counselling for children in school during situations like examinations and disputes among friends. One frequently reported problem in rural Nepal is mass hysteria which has forced schools to shut down for weeks, but no major step has been taken to address the problem. In addition, lack of proper information on sexual and reproductive health and insufficient discussion in rural schools on menstrual and pubertal changes have put many young children in a very confused state. Therefore, it is high time we started considering appointing school nurses to provide support for holistic development.
In the developed countries like the US, evidence shows that school nurses save lives, increase student attendance and decrease early dismissals. Having a school nurse benefits students in different ways. They spread best nutrition practices and provide
practical counselling and information on good health practices. Nurses can also disseminate information on stress management techniques during crisis situations and spread awareness about diseases. They can also play an influential role on issues like preparedness during emergencies, conduct first aid services and sensitise students to issues like immunisation.
Children with disabilities will get a favourable environment if we have a nurse in our schools. Nurses can play the role of a leader in spreading awareness about health and hygiene and greatly contribute to the well-being of children. They can also participate in sports, monitor the safety situation on the playground and make the
guardians feel more confident about the well-being of their children in school. With nurses looking after the health of kids in school, the school administration and teachers will find plenty of time to look after academic matters. Therefore, we need to follow the goal of having at least one nurse in every school. If we can implement this plan, this will enable a healthy environment in school.
- DURGA SAPKOTA
Published: 16-06-2017 08:24