Status and visions for the school health service as reported by local health care workers in Northern Tanzania
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Objective: The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global School Health Initiative provides a strategy to utilize schools to promote health and reduce the burden of diseases worldwide. The aim of this study was to investigate local school health work in Tanzania in relation to existing national guidelines and the WHO initiative. Methods: We interviewed 30 health care workers employed at 15 health institutions throughout Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions. Results: The results indicate a wide gap between the national and international guidelines for school health programs and the health workers’ current practices. We found the main obstacles to providing adequate health care to be related to the burden of poverty that influences all levels of school health services, lack of clarity regarding the current official guidelines for school health services, and lack of appropriate offers for continuing education in the area of school health services. Conclusion: In order to successfully establish an integrated school health service, the working relationship between schools, health centres and the community clearly needs improvement.
SerieEast African Journal of Public Health
Vol. 5, No.2