Government of Ghana host SHN Experts for 9th Africa Short Course

Participants take part in a partnership's workshop on last year's course

The Government of Ghana recently hosted the 9th African School Health and Nutrition (SHN) Course where representatives from ministries of health, education, agriculture, SHN experts, civil society and academics representing 12 African countries gathered for ten days to focus on best practice in SHN interventions.

The course, ran from June 10 - 20 and was co-organised by Partnership for Child Development, West African Centre for International Parasite Control (WACIPAC) of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, and Eastern and Southern Africa Centre of International Parasitic Control (ESACIPAC).

Dr. Irene Ayi of Head of WACIPAC and the WACIPAC’s Department of Parasitology said, “The SHN Short Course has over the years grown from strength to strength, providing an opportunity for ideas and experience exchange among policy and programme managers involved in school health and school feeding interventions from the various countries in attendance. Such interventions have been shown to improve the health and academic performance of school-age children”.

Course theme - Nutrition in the School-Age Child and Adolescents 

Current perspectives on effective education reinforce that quality education is achieved through not only the provision of quality teachers, curriculum and materials but by supporting children’s health and well-being to be ‘fit to learn’. 

A growing body of evidence also highlights the long-term and far-reaching negative consequences of poor health outcomes for school-age children on the broader education system, achievements later in life, and national and regional economies. 

Comprehensive SHN programmes such as school feeding address challenges which negatively impact on child health. Throughout the short course, participants attended hands-on planning workshops and heard from experts in their fields deliver lectures exploring SHN themes, particular focus was also paid to the theme of Nutrition in the School-Age Child and Adolescent.

Opening the course a keynote panel included Professor Donald Bundy, Lead Health and Education Specialist at the World Bank who discussed current SHN perspectives on school feeding.  

Learning from the Ghanaian Context 

The course, was held in Elmina, Ghana and gave participants the opportunity to learn from the Ghanaian context and the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), particularly on the eighth day of the course where attendees participated in school and teacher training college visits.

Appropriately designed school feeding programmes such as the GSFP have been shown to increase access to education and learning, and improve children’s health and nutrition, especially when integrated into comprehensive school health and nutrition programmes.

The GSFP, supported by PCD, sources school meals from local farmers and integrates components including deworming children for parasitic worms, ration design for nutritious school meals and assessing child behavioural change.

At the same time the GSFP which sources school meals from local farmers provides them with a regular and reliable income by investing in the use of locally-produced food for school feeding.

                                  To download all course information, agenda and presentations click here

Useful Links

News Coverage of the Course 

HGSF newsletter



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