|Promoting Health Through Schools - Report of a WHO Expert Committee on Comprehensive School Health Education and Promotion (WHO, 1997, 104 p.)|
In preparation for the Expert Committee meeting, WHO asked various experts to write papers relating to the promotion of health in schools. Such papers were requested from WHO staff in Geneva and Regional Offices and from experts from other agencies, academic institutions, and nongovernmental organizations.
About 30 such background papers, including examples from both developing and developed nations, were prepared on a wide range of subjects (authors and titles are listed in the Acknowledgements). These papers were synthesized into three working papers: The status of school health, Improving school health programmes: barriers and strategies to improve school health, Research to improve implementation and effectiveness of school health programmes (available on request from Health Education and Health Promotion, World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland).
The three working papers were used by the Expert Committee, as it prepared its report, to identify the best examples from both research and experience worldwide that would address the following questions:
· How can schools adapt to a changing environment and to the health and educational needs of students and staff?
· What are the critical building blocks that are necessary if a school is truly to promote health?
· Is a new framework needed to guide the process of health promotion?
· What arguments can be made to convince policy-makers of the educational, health, economic, social, and political benefits of investing in school health programmes?
· What evidence of effectiveness exists to guide the selection of strategies that have the potential to improve the health of school-age children, their families, and school staff?
· Which particular strategies are necessary to implement, advance, and institutionalize school health programmes?
These questions are interrelated. Rather than being addressed independently, they are the context of and concerns underlying this report.