LILONGWE: Government says health services in Community Based Child Care (CBCC) centres and schools would help in ensuring maximum protection and easy assessment of the children’s wellbeing.
Chief Child Development Officer in the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Pauline Simwaka, said this on Thursday at Mphanje School in Area 18, Lilongwe.
She was speaking after a week-long school health programme that students from Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN), a constituent college of University of Malawi, conducted at the school.
For a long time, the ministry has been struggling with issues of child assessment and early identification of disability and with these kind of activities, we will be on track in terms of child assessment, Simwaka said.
During the school health programme, over 50 first-year students from the nursing school interacted with learners and teachers, making observations and assessments in various areas as part of the student’s practical experience in their studies.
Simwaka, who was guest of honour, applauded the exercise saying it is in line with her ministry’s core businesses of promoting child development in all areas.
She appealed for more collaboration between KCN and the ministry and further urged the college to consider taking the services to the 11,000 CBCC centres the ministry has across the country.
Simwaka said with the prevalent shortage of staff in the health sector, the KCN students’ practical work in schools would be very ideal as not all children would present themselves at the hospital because of a mild ailment.
Acting head for the Department of Community and Mental Health Nursing at KCN, Dr. Winnie Chilemba, concurred with Simwaka saying providing health services in schools would ensure a healthy and productive nation.
Schools need to have health service programs to maintain and improve the health of school children. It also helps learners to develop their potential to the fullest, Chilemba said.
While at Mphanje School, the college students conducted a number of activities such as assessment of the school’s environment, conducting physical examination of learners and providing health education on health-related topics.
On the exercise, Chilemba said she was impressed with both the students’ experience at Mphanje School and the state of the school.
From the students’ presentations, it is clear that Mphanje School is doing very well in ensuring that its learners live in a health physical, psychological and social environment, she said while calling for the continuation of such best practices.
In her remarks, managing director for Mphanje School, Regina Mwanza, described the exercise as very exciting and fulfilling and an inspiration to learners.
The exercise supports one of our core values, which is the provision of a sound basic education to the learners and propel them in their academic career to become productive citizens for our country, Mwanza said.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA