We implement locally managed school-based health services to move the access point of
children’s health services to where most already are – their schools
We partner with the Zambian Ministries of Health and Education to design, implement and evaluate our programs. We integrate programs into the existing infrastructure of local schools and health facilities, therefore reducing costs and promoting local ownership of the programs.
TRAINING SCHOOL HEALTH WORKERS
We recruit, train, and equip teachers as School Health Workers to provide health education, basic medical care, health surveillance, referral of sick children to government health facilities and follow-up on students who are absent more than a few days. School Health Workers link schools to the local health facilities, thus making schools an access point into Zambia's national healthcare system.
ACTIVE HEATH SURVEILLANCE
Our schools actively monitor the health of their students through the following:
1) Students are placed into ‘buddy groups’, wherein they are responsible for looking
after their fellow classmates in their group and reporting to their teacher when a
classmate is unwell.
2) We use class attendance registries to identify children who miss multiple days of
class in a row. School Health Workers use class registries to identify and follow-
up on children who may need support.
3) School Health Workers contact parents and/or conduct home visits on children
suspected of being unwell. School Health Workers must follow-up and report
back on every child referred to the local health facility within three-days. Our
model as the unique ability to provide timely feedback on sick children.
FAST-TRACK REFERRAL SYSTEM
Long queues and waiting periods are a major barrier impeding healthcare utilization among school-aged children. We have addressed this issue through developing competent and efficient referral systems between local schools and government health facilities.
Children referred by School Health Workers are provided with expedited care at the health facility, as they have already completed an initial registration and screening at school. The fast-track system is highly regarded by our communities and has resulted in increased willingness for parents to bring their children for care when they are sick.
SCHOOL-BASED PREVENTATIVE HEALTHCARE
Our School Health Workers work alongside local government health facilities to provide children with medical interventions that have been demonstrated to improve health outcomes, decrease school absenteeism, promote healthy development and improve learning.
Student's covered by our model receive biannual deworming and vitamin A supplementation. Our model enables us to provide preventive medical services to large populations of children at minimal cost. Local public health and clinic officials have come to depend on School Health Workers to help carry out government health programs. As a result, mass drug administration campaign coverage have increased by 48% among students served by our model.
DESIGNING PROGRAMS FOR SCALE
Through employing low-cost, high impact interventions, leveraging existing community infrastructure, and forming public-private-partnerships, we believe we have developed a model capable of achieving impact at scale.
We carefully designed our programs to keep costs low and ensure that our model can be implemented and sustained in low-income communities. As a result, we are able to implement our model of school health for less than $5 per child.