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Save the Children's School Health and Nutrition Programs work in 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, supporting comprehensive School Health and Nutrition programs that can include regular deworming and micronutrient supplementation. Given by teachers on a routine basis to all school children and, when possible, to non-enrolled school-age children, these have proven to be some of the most cost effective interventions. Save the Children also provides treatment;for malaria in schools in endemic areas and trains teachers to screen for vision and hearing impairments, mitigating problems that are identified by moving sight and hearing impaired children to the front of the class and working with partners where possible to provide eye glasses and other materials as necessary. In addition, Save the Children works closely with schools and their communities to ensure proper sanitation through building latrines, appropriate hand washing facilities and access to safe drinking water. Most importantly, through education, students learn how to adapt their daily habits to improve their health, nutrition, hygiene and prevent HIV/AIDS, gaining these important skills and behaviors for life.
Our School Health and Nutrition Programs are committed to promoting education for girls by addressing their special needs including treatment of anemia, providing sanitary facilities and water in schools. By reducing these barriers to learning for girls, we enhance their overall health, because girls who are healthy, enroll in school sooner, stay longer and learn more. An educated girl takes better care of herself and grows into an educated woman who has healthier and fewer children. By supplying iron and other micronutrients, and reproductive health services necessary for sound physiological growth, adolescent girls are better prepared for pregnancy and childbirth. As a result, they have fewer low-birth weight babies and lower rates of maternal death. School Health and Nutrition Programs reach girls at a critical time in their lives with information and education as they are beginning to make independent decisions that affect their health. When girls have the appropriate knowledge and skills, they are better able to make healthy choices and prevent or delay risky behaviors thereby preparing themselves better for a lifetime of health.
The School Health and Nutrition Programs work closely with the Education Programs to ensure that children in communities served by Save the Children are well educated and healthy. Similarly, School Health and Nutrition Programs are a good continuation of Early Child Development (ECD) programs. Our School Health and Nutrition Programs are recognized as a global model and are in alignment with the UN and World Bank framework for school health and nutrition called FRESH (Focusing Resources on School Health and Nutrition).