Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Namibia has aimed to strengthen comprehensive school health services in Namibia. It has done this over the years through various projects. The latest of which, a website and the School Health Forum, were launched today.
Strengthening the School Health Programme in Namibia, a three-year program which started in 2013, was financed by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland of a budget totalling roughly 6,7 Million Namibian Dollars.
The School Health program has been working to strengthen the capacity of the MoHSS and other ministries to work with the Health Promoting School Initiative (HPSI), which aims to provide health services for all school-going children, making available the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions about their health and well-being, and to improve their quality of life. This Initiative was established in 1998 and works towards increasing the number of schools that can be considered health-promoting schools.
The School Health program has also worked to improve local authorities activities in school health. In a press release from October 2013 regarding the goals of the program, it said, “This will include increasing the knowledge and skills on school health care and the comprehensive HPSI; project management; and on gathering and using health research results in order to enable evidence-based decision making. The project will also develop ways and opportunities to link with others involved in school health care, both domestically and internationally.”
The Project’s activities started early in 2013 and have stretched till now. The program now ends with a School Health Forum and a launch of a website, which was announced today at an event at the Windhoek Country Club and Resort.
H.E. Dr. Nickey Iyambo, Vice President, Hon. Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Prof. Monir Islam the WHO Country Representative, H.E Anne Saloranta, Ambassador of Finland, Dr. No. Forster the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ms. Sanet Steenkamp the Permanent Secretary of Education Ministry and Hon. Laura McLeod-Katjirua the Governor of Khomas spoke at the launch event.
Currently, there are technical sessions being held regarding the website and the Forum. Tomorrow there will be more technical sessions and closing remarks by Dr. Norbert Forster, Deputy Permanent Secretary of MoHSS.